Violence: Reps want FG to release El-Zakzaky


TRACKING >>The House of Representatives yesterday urged the executive to obey various court rulings that granted bail to the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shi’ite, Sheik El-Zakzaky, and release him to avoid violence by his followers.

The advice was given after adoption of a motion of urgent national importance brought by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta).

While presenting the motion, Elumelu noted that members of the group had on Tuesday laid siege and later overran the security agents at the National Assembly while protesting the continued detention of their leader by the state.

He further noted that several police officers were injured while trying to repel the rampaging protesters, who destroyed vehicles and attacked the security post at the second gate at the National Assembly.

He also hinted that members of the Shi’ite group had staged other violent protests in the past over the detention of the Islamic cleric in which many lives and properties were destroyed.

Most of the lawmakers who contributed to the motion maintained that there was need for the Federal Government to heed the ruling of the courts to avoid more clashes between the security and Shi’ite followers. The lawmakers said the IMN members who have been protesting their leader’s continued detention could wreak more havoc.

That massacre of the Shiites has been condemned by local and international rights groups.

Former Akwa Ibom House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Onofiok Luke (PDP, Akwa-Ibom), in his contribution, observed that while the legislator was empowered to make laws, the Federal Government is going against the rule of law in disobedience to the court orders for the release of the IMN leader.

“If the court has given an order for the release of the man, we should call on the government to release him. The discourse should not be on the invasion of the National Assembly alone,” he said.

Also, speaking in the same vein, Hon. Bamidele Salam (APC, Osun) noted that El-Zakzaky’s continued detention was injustice and “injustice to one is an injustice to all.”

“I want to urge the Federal Government to look into the matter of the leader of this movement and allow the rule of law to take its course … to ensure that Boko Haram is not replicated in Shiites movement,” he said.

It would be recalled that El-Zakzaky was arrested in December 2015 after his followers allegedly blocked the chief of army staff; Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, from passing on a major high way in Kaduna, resulting into a bloody clash between soldiers and members of the sect.