Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMM), otherwise known as Shiites, have halted both human and vehicular movement around the British High Commission, Abuja, over the continuous detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The Shiites accused the British government of complicity in the detention of El-Zakzaky, which they said, had never issued any statement regarding their leader, but had continued to praise President Muhammadu Buhari.
The protest which started at past 11am in the morning, saw the British High Commission locking its front entrance gate, even as none of its officials addressed the protesters.
The protesters eventually left the High Commission at past 12 pm with a procession through the diplomatic zone within the Central Business District where embassies of the United States, the People’s Republic of China, Canada and Ghanaian High Commissions are domiciled.
Throughout the period of the protest, no vehicle entered the High Commission, even as no staff was in sight except security agents, particularly, the police.
A member of IMN, Abdullahi, Mohammed Musa, told our correspondent that the protest was necessitated by the recent visit of former British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, to the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
“Last week, we brought out a video of Sheikh exposing the secret of the United Kingdom, United States of America and others of being party to the killing of innocent citizens in Nigeria just because they want to come and embezzle the resources of Nigeria, especially in Zamfara State.
“Now, on Friday, we saw Tony Blair having a secret meeting with Nasiru El-Rufai. What are they discussing? Is it because Sheik Zakzaky is exposing their secret and they have come to understand that Nigerian citizens are getting to understand the secret that they want to tell Nasiru El-Rufai to keep on keeping Sheikh Zakzaky in custody until they finish embezzling the resources?” Musa queried.
Musa added that expatriates had been ferrying out mineral resources, particularly uranium in Zamfara which Sheikh El-Zakzaky earlier warned against.
“So, what is happening? Why are the bandits not kidnapping foreigners in Zamfara bush?” Musa further asked.
He called on the British government to come out and tell the world why it is supporting President Buhari in his continuous detention of Sheikh El-Zakzaky.
Meanwhile, the IMN has said that the visit of former Prime Minister Tony Blair has proved the complicity of the United Kingdom in the Zaria massacre.
Abdullahi, Mohammed Musa, in a statement on behalf of the Academic Forum of the IMN which was made available to journalists at the premises of the British High Commission, Abuja, said: “Tyrant Buhari, using El-Rufai and Buratai, had committed Zaria massacre, the worst atrocities ever committed against a group of people in the history of this colonially-created country called ‘Nigeria.’”
The IMN further declared that it holds Blair and the United Kingdom as foremost among others responsible for all the atrocities committed against El-Zakzaky and the continued persecution of Shiites in Kaduna State.
There was no official response from the British High Commission at the time of filing this report.