Members of Islamic Movement Of Nigeria (IMN) on Tuesday in Abuja warned the Nigerian Government not to push them to the wall in their demand for the release of their spiritual leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
The group disclosed this during a procession to mark the 68th birthday of El-Zakyzaky and 1,224 days of his detention.
According to Shaikh Sidi Munnir from Sokoto State, a member of the movement who spoke to journalists, the movement would change its style and move to another step if the government fails to release their leader.
When asked what will be the next line of action of the movement if the government continues to keep him in detention, he said: “I am sure we will not be doing this kind of procession to call for the release of our leader; we will move to another step.
“If they push us to the wall, that means if they hold on to our leader and refuse to release him, the style will change. We will not only be protesting to call for the release of our leader. The story will change.”
He expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari, with his next level slogan, will rescind his decision and release him from the detention.
He also called on well-meaning Nigerians and International community to intervene as a matter of urgency and necessity.
He added that the movement embarked on the rally to commemorate the 68th birthday anniversary of their leader even though he is in detention.
Also speaking, Abdullahi Isa Mohammad, Secretary of the Academic Forum of the movement, said the refusal of the government to release El-Zakyzaky has further increased the popularity of the leader and the movement.
He noted that the movement has achieved a lot with the protest by exposing the injustice being perpetrated by the government and creating awareness on the extrajudicial killings of their members by the security operatives.
He added that the continuous violation of rule law by the President has launched the movement to reckoning within and outside the country. He said that the movement will not give up on its demand.
“He has violated all the laws of the land, including an order by the court of competent law which is the Federal High Court that ordered for the freedom of our leader,” Muhammad said.
“They are keeping El-Zakzaky in their custody but El-Zakzaky movement is at the doorstep of the villa and is on the streets of Abuja and everywhere in the whole world. They have done nothing but increase the momentum of the movement to the other level.
“We have exposed the secrets of the government and told the masses what happened with this peaceful protest. So we don’t care if it continues for another four years, but all we know is that Sheik Zakzaky is in their custody and is our leader and we are ready to die for this cause.”
El-Zakzaky was born on 15 Sha’aban, 1372 (which corresponds to May 5, 1953) in Zaria. The word ‘Zakzaky’ means ‘Man from Zazzau’, and Zazzau or Zaria is an ancient City in Nigeria.
He attended prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, studying Economics and graduating with a First Class in 1979.