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Don’t smear our name, free Sheikh Zakzaky!

Since December, 2015 we have been coming out on the streets of various Nigerian cities peacefully calling for justice to the victims of the military genocide in Zaria – Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement he leads. In most cases the protests have gone unreported by the press because the police command did not make any attempt to disrupt it. However that of Kaduna and some few cities like Abuja has witnessed vicious attack by the police, with Kaduna recording the highest number of death at the hands of the police now put at 23 martyrs.

This impeccable record is enough a pointer to quash the allegation made against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria that its members did kill a Mopol Inspector on the 21 June, 2018 during our usual Free Zakzaky protest in Kaduna metropolis. This allegation quickly became the story of the day, with a video supposedly of ‘Shiites’ lynching a policeman that has gone viral on the internet.

Most certainly, this is NOT true at all. It is the greatest subterfuge of all times. We have it on records that Senior Police Officers had met thugs called Civilian JTF a day before the incident at a place called Kinkinau Quarters of Kaduna and plotted this callous and unfortunate murders to be carried out when we come out to conduct our free Zakzaky processions. This was to discredit us in order to turn the tables against us. Thus the reported killing of the policeman was a handiwork of some desperate people out to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It was the result of a joint handiwork of policemen and thugs.

There are also reports reaching us that indicate that Police, in an unholy alliance with thugs called Civilian JTF, have planned house-to-house attacks on certain targeted members of the Islamic Movement living in Kaduna from yesterday. According to our sources, the police had assured the thugs of state backing and cover. “Nothing will happen to you,” they were told.

The general public should remember that throughout our four decades of existence, the Islamic movement in Nigeria under Sheikh Zakzaky’s leadership has never resorted to violence even in the midst series of persecution of its members across the country. Why would anyone kill a policeman who is also a victim of bad governance?

This desperate tactics of wanting to smear our name is nothing new. Any criminal activity done in the state, the police and authorities are quick to attribute to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria because of the hate it has for the Movement. A clear example was the kidnap of a soldier in Kaduna some years back, only for them to later disprove themselves.

It is of great significance for the public to know that, members of the Movement in Kaduna are peaceful. We are coming out to peacefully protest for the release of our leader who had been in illegal and unconstitutional detention for over two and half years in spite a federal high court judgement ordering his immediate release since December 2016. It is pertinent for the police to stop intimidating us whenever we are out exercise our constitutional rights of freedom of
expression and peaceful assembly.

We have never forgotten, nor will we ever forget the fact that 1000+ innocent souls were exterminated by the brutal federal government under Buhari in December, 2015. Hundreds are still languishing in jail in a case of turning the victims the villains, and our leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenah in illegal detention despite escaping military murder with gunshot wounds. We will not rest on our oars till all of them are released unconditionally and the culprits brought to book.

Sheikh Abdulhamid Bello Zaria