Sokoto town received an unprecedented number of persons and witnessed what can best be described as an ocean of tears today in an otherwise dry town, as a leading member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria killed by agents of security apparatus was laid to rest in his home town.
The death of Sheikh Qaseem Umar Sokoto, who was shot by Nigerian Police while peacefully protesting against the illegal detention of Sheikh Zakzaky – the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria had shaken everybody, members and nonmembers alike.
Sheikh Qaseem’s death was said to have taken people by surprise as he was said to be recuperating well at a private facility in Kano where he was receiving treatment after the police acting on a tip off, identified and shot him in Abuja some weeks back before his condition was said to have suddenly deteriorated.
He was a learned teacher and an integral contributor to the IMN. He suffered so much persecution especially during the previous administration of Wammako in Sokoto State, when he was violently arrested along with hundreds of members in 2007 but was set free by the courts in 2014 after a tortuous court case.
Only last week, the Federal High Court in Sokoto ruled in the favour of the members of the Movement in the case instituted by Sheikh Qaseem, for the enforcement of fundamental rights of members to practice their faith without hindrance or molestation by the government or its security agencies or their proxies.
We demand justice for his death as well as for all those who have suffered in the wake of the massacre in Zaria in 2015.
Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah have been held by state security services since December 2015 along with several other members and supporters of the Movement following their arrest during a savage military assault against the Movement in December 2015. Both were shot during the attack in Zaria in which at least 1000 supporters, including three sons of the couple, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the Movement and its followers destroyed.