Shiites hold annual mourning rites in Kaduna, demand release of El-Zakzaky

Shiites

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) yesterday held a procession in Kaduna to mark the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.

The leader of the group, also called Shiites, Aliyu Tirmizi, addressed the members along Nnamdi Azikiwe Way, Kaduna.

He said: “Imam Hussain was killed by the Army of Yazid bn Mu’awiya on the 10th day of Muharram at the plains of Karbala, now in the present day Iraq, along with his household and followers about 1400 years ago.”

He said the annual Ashura mourning of the death of the late Imam was part of the Islamic religious activities worldwide.

The Shiites also demanded the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaki, who is being detained by the Federal Governmen, despite court orders for his freedom.

According to him: “Despite efforts by the government to infringe upon our rights to freedom of religion and worship, we have commemorated the remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, who was killed in Karbala by the Army of Yazid bn Mu’awiyya (LA)”

He explained that the late Hussain sacrificed his life and those of his family and supporters to protect the religion and true message of Islam.

Describing him as the symbol of struggle against tyranny and oppression, Tirmizi explained that “the Imam is adored by people of all religions and ideologies as a source of true commitment and steadfastness, not only on the path of justice and fairness, but also for freedom and independence.”

Tirmizi, who is the head of the Kaduna centre of the IMN, called on the Federal Government to set good precedent by obeying the court orders and releasing El-Zakzaky from illegal detention.

“We are calling on the Nigerian government to respect court judgment and unconditionally release our leader who has been in illegal detention for about two years now,” he said.

He also urged the members of the IMN “to remain focused and resolute in the struggle for the release of the IMN leader, in the face of unfortunate intimidations and suppression.”



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