Hundreds of Shia Muslim (Shiites) in Abuja staged a peaceful protest to mark 1,000 days since their spiritual leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was arrested by security operatives.
The group also vowed to lay down their lives for their leader’s cause.
Speaking during the protest, which held on Friday, Abdullahi Muhammadu Musa said their lives had been miserable since the arrest and detention of their leader.
He noted that the group decided to mark the day to show their solidarity with the cleric.
The protesters marched through the Federal Secretariat to the Presidential Villa gate with placards and banners bearing inscriptions such as: ‘#FreeZakzaky’; ‘Buhari Obey Court Order’, among others.
The group expressed fear for El-Zakzaky’s death, which they said might result due to his ill health, and demanded his release to enable him seek medical attention.
According to Musa, "We have been living miserably without our leader. A lot of youth who are the followers of the Sheik are ready to die for the Sheik. Today marks 1,000 days since he was arrested and he is seriously sick and they did not allow him access to his medication. He was not allowed to see his family members.”
Musa urged security agents to act swiftly on the information obtained by the movement, which alleged that some people within the government are planning to lay an ambush for the group’s leader on his way to court or hospital.
Speaking on the Zaria killings, Musa expressed displeasure at the attitude of government, saying it is an attempt to subvert justice and shield the perpetrators of the crime.
The sect called on the international community to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the court order on the unconditional release of El-Zakzaky.
Heavily armed anti-riot policemen were stationed at strategic locations to forestall breakdown of law and order.
Sheikh El-Zakyzaky has been in detention since December 2015 after the bloody clash which occurred between the IMN members and the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, who claimed the sect members made an attempt on his life, while on their way to Kaduna for the annual Ashura day.