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Nigerians protesters demand the release of Shi’ite leader

More than 200 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and Pro-Democracy group, Concerned Nigerians, protested in Abuja on Wednesday to demand the release of their leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky

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Concerned Nigerians said in a statement on Tuesday (January 16) the group would begin daily “sit-outs” on Wednesday to protest alleged killings of members of IMN and demand Zakzaky’s release.

Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju said they are asking the government to do what is right.

What is happening to the Shia leader and the members of the Islamic Movement is completely injustice.

“What is happening to the Shia leader and the members of the Islamic Movement is completely injustice. A situation where they kill…. continuously kill their members you know… and continuously detain their leader. It’s uncalled for, it is against the norm of justice and equity and as sane Nigerians, as responsible Nigerians we must as a matter of fact condemn it which is exactly what we are doing ,” he added.

Shia Muslim cleric Zakzaky, has been imprisoned at an unknown location without charge since December 2015 after his followers clashed with the army in the northern city of Zaria.

Rumored to have died in detention, Zakzaky made his first public appearance in two years on Saturday.

Member of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Mohalled Ibrahim Gamawa said they are under threat.

“We are being gunned down by policemen day in day out, and soldiers. Many of our members have been killed last week and from all indications they are going to kill our members the more this week because we believe that street protests is our right and we must come out and demonstrate if Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky is not being released. So we ,”

In 2016, Nigeria’s northern state of Kaduna declared IMN a minority sect in the mainly Sunni Muslim north – unlawful on security grounds.

The ban triggered a wave of attacks on IMNmembers, worsening sectarian rivalries in northern Nigeria, where the army is also fighting Boko Haram.

This first appeared in AfricaNews of 18th January, 2018 with Reuters

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