Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday stood still as members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria honoured their martyred members with a peaceful rally and procession to demand for the immediate release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
The protest, which was attended by thousands of members and supporters of the Movement, led to a heavy traffic gridlock along the ever busy Central Business Area.
The procession was preceded by the usual daily Free Zakzaky Sit Out at the popular Unity Fountain and a huge rally for their fallen heroes, tagged “Martyrs Day.”
From there, the procession moved to the Ministry of Justice, having first reached the Federal Secretariat, with a view to remind the Attorney General of Federation of their demands and grievances over the detention of their spiritual leader and his failure to prosecute those responsible for the extra judicial killing of thousands of their members.
In his address at the rally, the head of the Martyrs Foundation (Shuhada Foundation), Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello, said that it’s a Martyrs’ day set aside by the movement to honour their fallen heroes.
“Therefore as we gather today, we will like to remind the general public and the world in general of the horrible atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015. Over a thousand innocent civilians were gunned down within 48 hours in brazen demonstration of Nigerian state power. The infants were not spared, nor were young children and the very old, including women. Sophisticated military weapons were used on unarmed civilians as if their lives did not matter to those at the helm of affairs in Kaduna and Abuja.”
He noted that to date no word of condolences has been tendered by the Federal government whose soldiers carried out the killings or the kaduna state government that gave them the leverage to go on a killing spree.
The protesters expressed displeasure and anger on how the military commanders that spearheaded the brutal attack on the Islamic Movement are yet to be apprehended and prosecuted before a competent court.