Charge El-Zakzaky to Court Now, New York Protesters Tell Buhari’s Govt
Some Nigerians living in the United States of America on Monday staged a protest at the United Nations Building and the Nigeria House, New York City, demanding immediate prosecution of the leader of the Shi’ite movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Punch reports.
El-Zakzaky had since been in detention following a bloody clash between members of the Shi’ite movement and the Nigerian Army in Kaduna, late last year.
The clash occurred when Shi’ite members blocked the path of the Chief of Army State, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, and his convoy in Zaria.
The Nigerians, who protested in New York on Monday, according to a statement made available to our correspondent, expressed the fear that the Shi’ite movement might fester into another terrorist group like the Boko Haram sect, if not decisively addressed by the Federal Government.
The protesters, who said the Shi’ite movement mirrored Boko Haram in its formative years, warned that Nigeria might unknowingly be nurturing another national security threat, if the Shi’ite movement was not immediately nipped in the bud.
They said the delay in pressing charges against El-Zakzaky might send a wrong signal that Nigeria was pampering a violent sect, which might encourage the springing up other extremist sects.
The spokesperson for the protesters, Cosmas Collins, said, “The delay in prosecuting the detained Islamic Movement of Nigeria leader could be a silent plea for international backing by the Nigerian government.
“A clear message must be sent to the government that the way it deals with the IMN threat is a matter of global interest as any fallout from delay in dealing with the threat posed by the group will affect the whole world.
“Failure to prosecute these people, including El-Zakyzaky, will make other groups think of coming out because it is now believed that it is fashionable to take on the state without consequences.
“We, therefore, encourage the government to consider bringing charges of subversion of the rule of law against members of the group for inviting Iranian intervention into Nigeria’s internal affairs.
“The government should investigate the finances of the group and its senior members to see if they have been beneficiary of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism.”
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