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Opinin| Sheikh Zakzaky Deserves Total Freedom, Not Protective Custody, By Ibrahim Musa

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, recently issued a statement on behalf of the Presidency justifying the illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibraheem.

Spokesperson of President Buhari hinges their illegality on fear factor when he said “the fear of the government was that there would be a breakdown of law and order if Mr. Zakzaky was allowed to go home. Government has a responsibility to ensure his safety.”

We have been thoroughly embarrassed and even shocked that the presidency will keep on defending its impunity against the valid and subsisting order of the federal high court made on December 2, 2016 ordering it to release our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky by hiding behind the cloak of ‘protective custody.’ This we believe defies logic, as it is a blind and baseless defense of the indefensible.

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Before the inhumane attack by the Nigerian Army on Sheikh Zakzaky and the IMN, we have been living peacefully with the society. It is therefore baffling to put forward such a baseless reason of protective custody as the reason for holding the revered Sheikh. Was it the society that attacked and killed the 1000+ followers of Sheikh Zakzaky? Who demolished the Islamic Centre of IMN? Who  desecrated the graveyard of IMN? These heinous crimes were committed by the Nigerian Army.

In view of the genocide carried out by the Army against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), it is clear that if there is any threat to the life of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, it must be from the Federal government of Nigeria. This assertion can only be proved wrong if the federal government will reveal to the public who are the very people it is interested in protecting Sheikh Zakzaky from them. Failure to do this is tantamount to giving protection to those who committed crime against humanity in Zaria on 12-14 December, 2015.

In the light of the foregoing we hereby reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky from illegal custody in strict compliance with the judgment of the Federal High court. It is illogical for a government which is desirous to secure conviction of persons charged with criminal offences to treat the orders of the same court with disdain and impunity.

Ibrahim Musa is the spokesman for the Islamic Movement In Nigeria

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