From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
MEMBERS of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) who claimed to be orphans and widows, yesterday, took to the streets of Kaduna to protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
They chanted slogan including “Free our leader”, “Free El-zakzaky”, “He needs medical treatment” among others.
Abdullahi Mohammed, said they decided to storm the streets to protest the continuous detention of their leader by the Directorate of Security Service (DSS) since December 2015 following the bloody clash between the IMN and soldiers that left hundreds dead in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Also speaking, a young woman, who claimed to be speaking for Zaria-based nongovernmental organization, AbdulFadI Foundation, Fauziya Saidu, said the protest would continue until their leader was released unconditionally.
She said no amount of intimidation from Army could stop them from marching to Abuja and remain there until El- Zakzaky, wife and other members of the sect were released from the DSS custody.
“Most of us here are widows and orphans. We are only demanding that our leader be released for medical treatment. We will continue this match to Abuja and we will not leave until our Sheikh, his wife and others are released.
“Prior to that, in an unusual twist, the DSS claimed that Sheikh Zakzaky was being kept in ‘protective custody because he is a vulnerable individual.
“Although our leader and his wife are not being held in a prison cell, they are certainly not living comfortably.
“Then, there is his health, specifically the health of his last remaining eye, which is already half blind. “We call on those who believe in the adorable right of all human beings to fairness, justice and dignity, to help by joining us in a redoubled efforts. We must act before it is too late. Seriously, our leader needs access to doctors now.
“If they are really protecting our leader as their lawyers have claimed, then we would want to ask them what form of threat is the visit of family members, doctors constituting? Considering the impending and dangerous situation threatening to turn him blind, why are no doctors allowed?” she asked.