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Kaduna boils again as Shiite members embark on procession

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Cover Picture: Sheikh Zakzaky after arrest by the Nigerian troop

Sporadic gunshots have enveloped parts of Kaduna State yesterday as members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN embarked on another religious procession, days after a bloody clash left many members dead and arrest of the spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky.

House of Sheikh Zakzaky demolished by Nigerian Troop

Thousands of El Zakzaky’s Shia sect took to the streets of Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Katsina, Gombe and Gusau, etc. yesterday to protest the arrest and unlawful detention of their leader, Sheikh El Zakzaky.

The protest march was peaceful in Kano, Katsina and other places except in Kaduna, where the Nigerian security allegedly dispersed the protesters with gun fire.

Source confirmed to newsmen that during the clash securities killed over 12 people of the Islamic movement and wounded many.

The Kano protest started from Kano city Old central mosque, kanti kwari, Ibrahim Taiwo road, Bello road and ended in the Kano central business district known as Bata Sabon Gari with a closing speech by Mal Imam Yaquob.

The protesters, mostly clad in black with females wearing long robes carried placards with various inscriptions such as “You should release our leader urgently”, No justification for the massacre of innocent citizens by soldiers”, “Buhari, comment on massacre of Muslims”, “why should you demolish our centre” etc.

In his speech at the Kano march, Mal Imam Yaquob said the world can see that Sheikh El Zakzaky is a peaceful man, at least judging by the behaviour of his followers from this protest march.
Bodies of Sheikh Zakzaky followers killed by Nigerian Troop

 

‘’We are only demanding freedom and justice and the right to be citizens of Nigeria. For no just reason, the Nigerian army is formulating lies saying their Army Chief escaped attack from followers of Shaikh Zakzaky’’, Yaquob said.

Yaquob said such violent organizations as MEND, MOSSOP, IPOB etc are treated with kids gloves and amnesty, but a peaceful group like El Zakzaky’s sect are killed on daily basis by the military.

In a related development reports monitored on Iranian media say that the country’s President, Hassan Rouhani has called up his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari over the bloody clashes between the Nigerian Army and Sheikh El Zakzaky’s Shia sect in Kaduna on Saturday and Sunday, which has left scores dead.

The military crackdown on the Shiites has sparked international outcry, with protesters from different counries marching on the Nigerian embassies to demand for immediate release of Sheikh El Zakzaky.

The condemnation locally was evident on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of sect members took to the streets of Kano, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi and Katsina chanting Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), and demanding the release of their spiritual leader.

According to AFP, Mr Rouhani has been quoted as saying “minor disputes must not be allowed to turn into deep differences”.

On Monday, Shia-dominated Iran summoned a Nigerian diplomat in Tehran to protest against the crackdown.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), has arrived Kaduna State to see the situation of things in the state.

The Shia sect has accused the army of killing at least one thousand of its members and evacuated their bodies to unknown destinations.

Stephen Lawan

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