Shiites task government on release of El-Zakzaky, wife
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has urged the Federal Government to obey the court ruling, which ordered the release of its leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife.The group made the plea in a statement in Abuja by the Chairman, Shuhadah (martyrs) Foundation of IMN, Abdulhameed Bello.
Bello said the request became necessary following the expiration of the 45-day ultimatum by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja.He said: “We demand and insist that the Federal Government and its agencies release our leader, El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenatu Ibraheem, unconditionally and in accordance with the procedures laid down in the judgment delivered on December 2, 2016.”
The group, also known as Shiites, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the rule of law in a democratic setting.According to him: “the Federal Government and the Department of State Security (DSS) must obey the court order. This is because they have a responsibility to show good example to the people as a regime that believes in the rule of law and due process.
“The serial disobedience to court orders and contempt for the citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom of religion do not portray our country as one that is capable of managing its religious diversity to strengthen the federation.”
Bello also condemned the Kaduna State government for the prosecution of the Shiites.He urged Governor Nasir-El-Rufai to “discontinue his unjustified persecution of over 350 Shiites’ members who are facing charges of culpable homicide in the state.”He alleged that the state “participated in the illegal burial of over 1000 of our members and had refused to prosecute those who carried out the heinous murder.”
“The IMN demands that government desists from infiltrating the IMN by using fifth columnists and agent provocateurs, adding that “the Shiites do not believe in the use of violence to achieve its objectives.”
Bello urged the international community to prevail on the Federal Government to release their leader to enable him seek medical solution to his deteriorating eye problem.He expressed gratitude to the human rights community and other professional groups for their support and urged them to persuade government to release their leader.