By Khalid Idris Doya
The birthday celebration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) is held today (29/12/2015), The disciples of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky staged a peaceful procession in Bauchi celebrating his birthday with gusto.
The procession which took to major roads in the city has witnessed the high turn out of brothers and sisters who came from different parts of the city. The Muslim brothers converged at Kobi football pitch before they ambulated around the city and rounded it up at Ajiya Juma’at mosque. It is in the midst of this procession that the representative of Sheikh Zakzaky, Malam Yusuf Yashi had an audience with journalists.
According to him, "the tradition was once being carried out in Zaria, but the swelling numbers of Shias has forced us to carry it out in every city. The essence of this procession is to express our delightfulness with the birthday of our noble prophet, we also seize the opportunity to plea for unity among our fellow Muslims and other religious groups" He also expressed his displeasure over the ongoing incarceration of their supreme leader, his wife and followers by the Nigerian government.
"We would like to draw the people’s attention to the continued persecution of Shias in this country. Up to this moment we neither know where our leader is nor do we know his situation. The Nigerians are aware over the past thirty five years that we are a peaceful movement, we have never posed any threats to the lives of people let alone trample on their rights. How can we block roads and deprive others of right to passage when even if you take a look at this dual road you will notice that we are only using one road and the motorists are using the other road.
Therefore it is just a here say to make such a baseless accusation. Our call is for the government to immediately and unconditionally release our leaders and his detained followers. And our slain members should be handed over to us for proper funerals. Our demolished houses and sanctuaries should also be rebuilt. People should thus realize that this crusade is not meant to target Shi’as alone, it is a subtle move to destroy Muslims altogether. People should not be fooled with this phantom propaganda" added malam Yashi who has led the procession.
Finally, Malam Yashi cautioned the Nigerian government that the Islamic movement in Nigeria is here to stay and no amount of intimidation, segregation and targeted assassination will suppress the increasing acceptance of Shi’a in Nigeria.
Photos of the FREE ZAKZAKY are also shown and distributed to the curious sympathizers who flooded the streets to express their solidarity with brothers in the midst of the current adversity with federal government.