There is an attempt to project the Shiites and their leader El-Zakzaky as a people Southerners/Christians should loathe. This is coming from Buharists who are framing the Shiites as an undesirable sect that want an Islamic state, that hate Israel and want to create a state inside another state.
However the support for Shiites and calls for El-Zakzaky’s release are predicated on morality, justice, empathy, conscience and humanity.
As long as Nigeria remains one country, injustice to one is injustice to all. Watching the state suppress the Shiites is like watching the enemy of your enemy annihilate your neighbour, when that is done, the fangs will be turned on you. The memories of how the Nigerian government triggered the rise of Boko Haram terrorists after the death of their leader is fresh in the mind of Nigerians.
Now, the government cannot disobey court orders just like it has kept political prisoners like Col. Dasuki and continue to keep El-Zakzaky who has been frail of recent against the rule of law. Given the resoluteness and martyrdom of the Shiites, precipitating another insurgency and terrorism is not the desire of any Nigerian.
Southerners /Christians have no stake in the Shia/Sunni sect feud that have gone on for 100s of years. Nigeria is a secular state and every person has the right to religious beliefs. The Shiites also need to come to terms with the fact that religious fundamentalism isn’t acceptable.
The Shiites need to reconcile their hate for Israel, the United States, Christians and affinity with Iran with their existence as Nigerian citizens who are meant to live in peace with other Nigerians. Nigeria has not survived Boko Haram and any form of religious radicalism is undesirable. On this note, I join millions of Southerners and Christians to call for release of El Zakzaky. The killings of Shiites protesters have gone on for so long and we cannot continue with the bloodshed without ominous consequences.
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