Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as the Shiites yesterday locked down human and vehicular traffic in the ever busy Central District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to mark the 68th birthday anniversary and 224 days of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky’s detention.

The group in their usual fashion of filling according to age grade and sex, trooped out in hundreds chanting war-like songs as they marched through major roads demanding justice for their detained leaders.

Though the procession was peaceful, they accused President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of trampling on the rights of the members of IMN, especially El Zazaky and his wife that have been illegally kept behind bars for 1,224 days, despite court orders that they should be released.

The spokesperson of the group, Abdullahi Musa, said that IMN will not relent to demand for justice over the Zaria massacre of its members by soldiers.

According to him: “Despite the recommendation made by the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) of July 2016 for the prosecution of the perpetrators of Zaria massacre, the Nigerian Government under Buhari is yet to prosecute the perpetrators of these great atrocities.”

Shiites have been having a running battle with security forces in Kaduna and Abuja since December 12, 2015, when the army reportedly killed over 1,000 members of the group in Zaria, Kaduna State.

They claimed the invasion of their procession then was “a planned and systematic attack on Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky launched by the Nigerian
Army under a hoax of road blockage.

“The attack lasted for more than 48 hours and led to the killing of more than 1,000 people, including women and children” .

They also alleged that sons of Sheikh Zakzaky namely, Ali, Hamid and Humaid died during the attack.