Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN ) shutdown Abuja, the nation's capital on Thursday as they embarked on a peaceful rally to celebrate their fallen heroes and demand for the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The protest by the thousands of IMN members led to a heavy traffic gridlock along Central Business District as motorists were stranded while some abandoned their vehicles.
The protesters took off from the popular Unity Fountain and moved to the Ministry of Justice to remind the Attorney General of Federation of their demands and grievances over the detention of their spiritual leader.[slideshow]59173[/slideshow]
Addressing the protesters, the leader of the group , Sheik AbdulHamid Bello, said that the protest is to commemorate Rajab of the hijira calendar, adding that it's a Martyrs' day set aside by the movement to honour their fallen heroes in the world wide Islamic revival struggle.
"Therefore as we gather today, we will like to remind the general public and the world in general of the horrible atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015. Over a thousand innocent civilians were gunned down with 48 hours in brazen demonstration of Nigerian state power. The infants were not spared, nor were young children and the very old, including women. Sophisticated military weapons were used on unarmed civilians as if their lives did not matter to those at the helm of affairs in Kaduna and Abuja "
The group noted that to date no word of condolences has been tendered by the Federal government whose soldiers carried out the killings or the kaduna state government that gave them the leverage to go on a killing spree.
The protesters expressed displeasure and anger on how the military commanders that spearheaded the brutal attack on the Islamic Movement are yet to be apprehended and prosecuted before a competent court.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 following a bloodyclash between his supporters and Nigerian Army. Hundreds of Shiite members were killed in the clash while El-Zakzaky has remained in detention since then despite court order that he should be released.