Friday 21/06/2019 marks exactly the day Sheikh Zakzaky and his followers spent 42 months and 10 days in illegal brutal detention. Their incarceration started on Saturday 12/12/2015, with the Zaria massacre executed by the Nigerian military. Since then we have not rested on our oars, we have been trooping out from time to time voicing our concern and disapproval of the way Buhari administration is handling this monumental tragedy of killing of 1000+ civilians in Zaria and the continued detention of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky even in the face of a high court order of his release and payment of compensation.
Moreover it is a known fact that as we come out today to stage another peaceful protest, Buhari Administration has flagrantly disregarded a high court ruling ordering the release of our leader since 2016. Since to date our demands have not been met by the authorities, we will not be deterred, but keep on with our civil protests reminding the general public of the crass injustice meted upon us and demanding justice from the government.
This time around we are deeply concerned because the health of our leader is fast deteriorating by the day, mostly because of the bullet traces imbedded in his body and that of his wife Malama Zeenah Ibrahim in the aftermath of the gunshot wounds they sustained during the soldiers onslaught on their residence. The lead Counsel to the duo had to make a special application before a kangaroo court praying that they must be allowed access to medical experts in January this year. It however took almost four months before foreign medical experts could be allowed to assess their situation. The preliminary report indicated that both must be flown abroad urgently for further expert medical attention. The government is yet to heed to this medical advice by the experts.
In the meantime, as their health situation deteriorates, their trial has stalled unnecessarily. Their lawyers had alerted the courts that they must be allowed to attend to their health, because “only the living can stand trial.”
It was therefore not surprising that members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria received the sudden news of the collapse and death of the Egyptian former President in the court room while being tried with so much anxieties and unease.
It will be the biggest mistake of the century for Nigerian authorities and other oppressive regimes in countries like Egypt to assume that if a detainee in their dungeons die, they are not responsible. This assumption is not acceptable before the law and natural justice. How can a regime that detain a person, deny him his right to seek medical attentions and let him die with careless abandon, turn around and quickly claim innocence of his death? This is not how a natural death occurs.
Right from the onset when the military descended on the Islamic Movement in 2015, the intention of this administration is apparently clear, to obliterate the Movement, its members and its leader Sheikh Zakzaky. However Allah in His infinite mercy spared the life of the Leader, and protected him from the evil machinations of his sworn enemies. Alhamdulillah, the Islamic Movement’s growth has not stagnated. Nonetheless we will like to assure our detractors we will not siddon look, should anything unwanted again happened to our revered leader. We know where the blame lies and will be appropriately blamed by us and the world in general.
Hence we once again call on all those that wish Nigeria good to draw the attention of this regime to the fact that the continued illegal incarceration of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky is not in the best interest of this nation. It is immoral for the government to hide behind the façade that he and others are currently standing trial on trumped up charges, therefore it is a matter before the judiciary. This is unacceptable to us and all those behind justice in our land. We know their real intentions and we will not condone it. They should simply let our Leader go to freedom!
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO ZARIA
Public release distributed during today’s Free Zakzaky protest all over the country today.