UNIABUJA Chief Imam advises Buhari on how to deal with El-Zakyzaky

The Chief Imam of University of Abuja, Prof Taofiq Abdulaziz has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to bow to the pressure of the protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), whose leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky, has been in detention since December 2015.

He said Buhari should ignore the call to release the leader of the group, saying other terrorist groups would get away with their crimes through violent protests.

The Punch quoted him as saying the law should take its due course in dealing with violence demonstration of such groups across the country.

Conversely, other Islamic leaders believed that the continued detention of the Shiite leader could lead to the emergence of another insurgent group like Boko Haram.

One of them is the Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Prof Ishaq Akintola. He advised the Buhari-led government to release El-Zakyzaky.

Prof. Akintola advised the APC-led government to show goodwill and allow leaders of the Muslim community in Nigeria headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to intervene and ensure that a Memorandum of Understanding is signed between the leaders of the protesters, Muslim leaders and the government.

He, however, called on the government to make sure that the group sign an MoU to stop their violent processions.

Another Islamic scholar that spoke on the El-Zakzaky’s detention is the Worldwide Missioner, Ansar-u-deen Society of Nigeria, Imam Abdurrahman Ahmad, who said FG should allow the court to convict or acquit the Shiite leader.

Executive Chairman, Muslim Public Affairs Centre, Disu Kamor who was rather blunt said the president should accept full responsibility for allowing the Shiite protest to deteriorate under his watch.

According to him, if the protest was not carefully handled it could lead to another sect of the terrorist group. He said the continued detention of El-Zakzaky is illegal.

The IMN leader was set free severally by courts in Nigeria, but the government has been accused of not honouring any of the orders which have led to violent protests by his followers.

More than five of their demonstrations turned bloody in the last one month. When they wanted to force their way into the National Assembly complex, a policeman was wounded while it was reported that a member of the group was shot dead.

The most violent protest in the last 30 days was July 22, 2019, where NEMA facility was set ablaze, a senior police officer, a young and promising journalist were killed, several members of the group also lost their lives. While a lot of them were taken into custody.