Followers of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky have staged a peaceful protest to mark three years of Zaria massacre and El-Zakzaky's "unlawful detention" by the Nigerian government.
The protesters carried placards and stormed the federal secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday, chanting anti-government songs and demanding the release of their spiritual leader, who has been in custody since December 2015.
Addressing the protesters, Abdullahi Musa, Secretary of the Academic Forum of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), said El-Zakzaky is being kept in detention for "no just cause".
His words: "On 12 December, 2015, a planned and systematic attack on Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was launched by the Nigerian Army under a hoax of road blockage. The attack lasted for more than 48 hours and led to the killing of more than 1,000 people, including women and children. Those killed during the attack include sons of Sheikh Zakzaky namely, Ali, Hamid and Humaid. After the attack, the Buhari-led administration detained the Sheikh without proper medical care.
"The attack started when soldiers of the Nigerian Army were stationed directly opposite Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah Centre (where teaching sessions and other activities are held) located along Sokoto road, adjacent to polo pitch, Zaria, Kaduna State. On that day, the followers of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky were to commemorate the arrival of Rabiul Awwal, the birth month of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA)."
According to Musa, the soldiers burnt many people alive, including an elder sister to Sheikh Zakzaky. He also accused the Nigerian Army of conducting a "secret mass burial of the victims at a site in Mando Kaduna".
He continued: "Three years after the Zaria massacre and despite the recommendation made by the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) of July 2016 for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Zaria massacre, the Nigerian government under Buhari is yet to prosecute the perpetrators of these great atrocities.
"In fact, instead of prosecuting the perpetrators, Tyrant Buhari continued to give orders for further killing of the followers of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. The recent killing is the attack made by the Military and Nigerian Police during the annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trek between 27th and 30th October, 2018 where more than 50 followers of Sheikh Zakzaky were killed in Abuja."
He, however, stated that the group would not relent in its demand for the unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife.