The daily Free Zakzaky Sit Out embarked upon by a coalition of groups led by the Concerned Nigerians at the Unity Fountain, Abuja has entered its second month.
The daily Sit out was contrived as a platform for the sustained pressure on the Buhari-led Federal Government to firstly, obey the court order that sets the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenatudeen Ibrahim free, and secondly, to seek to stop the police and other security agencies from violating the fundamental rights of members of the Islamic Movement anytime they engage in their legitimate peaceful religious and social events.
Within the first month, the Sit out has been remarkably successful in generating so much public awareness in the plight of members of the Movement and its leader. Prominently situated at the heart of the nation’s capital, the Sit Out has thus far attracted the participation of so many groups, activists, religious leaders, diplomats and journalists. The Sit Out has also been able to come up with some innovative actions to keep the audience highly engaged such as presentations by different groups of victims of the Zaria genocide and some strategic street actions and advocacy.
On occasions, the audience was moved to tears as survivors and victims relations told their tales of woes and the extent of brutality exhibited by the Nigerian army in Zaria between December 12th and 14th, 2015. Some of those stories were being told for the first time ever since the horrendous attacks by these survivors, as there was never a safe avenue provided to recant the stories by the victims and survivors themselves without the threat of further molestations and persecution.
According to Prince Deji Adeyanju, the convener of the Sit Out, “we will continue this sit out for as long as they keep Sheikh Zakzaky in illegal detention in contempt of the court.” As the sit out enters the second month, more innovative activities are outlined to keep the campaign lively and ensure “it sends the right messages to the right places until the Sheikh is set free,” according to the Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, one of the groups in the Sit out coalition. Also commenting on a successful first month of the Daily Sit Out, the Islamic Initiative For Human Rights Protection (IIHRP), one of the coordinators of the Sit out in the coalition, said the campaign has defied various threats by agents sent to disrupt and probably stop the sit out. “We refused to be distracted,” the secretary of IIHRP said.