Islamic group urges Buhari to release El-Zakzaky, others
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, his wife and others detained with him.
A statement by the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, urged the president to obey the order by a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja that they be released.
According to the statement, the Federal Government should stop accusing the movement of disregarding the laws of the land when it had failed to obey a court order issued over A year ago.
Musa said it was ironical that Buhari “in his New Year message to Nigerians, made an unusual call to the Shia community, whom he referred to as his brothers and sisters.”
According to him, “Buhari evaded the real issue when he said we must accept the laws of the country that we live in. On the contrary, that allusion should have been directed at his government which had failed to obey the country’s laws.
“We have challenged all acts of brutality and extra-judicial killing of our members in the law courts peacefully. Even in the face of extreme persecution and provocation, we had obeyed the laws of the land.
“The members of IMN have acted peacefully by not taking the laws into our hands or disobeying any legitimate laws of the country, but by seeking redress in the law courts, even when we know that government has a penchant to disobey court orders.”
He explained that the Shiites’ leading counsel, Femi Falana, had last week written to the president and the attorney general of the federation on the need to obey the court order.
Musa dismissed the allegation that the group was an island unto itself.
According to him: “We are well embedded in all aspects of the society, contributing positively in various ways to its
success. Also, we have built bridges across both intra and interfaith divides.
“The IMN had also bridged the gaps between tribal and regional divides. We have been exposing government’s evil machinations against its citizens.”
The group also urged the president to address the alleged killing of its members in Zaria, Kaduna, Kano, Funtua and Sokoto states.