Members of the largest Shi’ite sect in Nigeria, Islamic Movement in Nigeriaon Wednesday, August 3, 2016, in Kaduna, defied police order to protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and other members.
Children, between the ages of 10 and above with some adults, marched through Muhammadu Buhari Way in the Kaduna metropolis.
They displayed posters of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and chanted continuously, “free our leader,” “please free El-Zakzaky,” “we want justice,” “He needs to go for medical treatment.”
One of the protesters, Fauziya Saidu, who claimed they had trekked all the way from Zaria, about 80 kilometer from Kaduna since Tuesday, August 2, 2016, said they were heading towards Abuja and vowed to remain in the Federal Capital territory until their leader was released.
She said most of the protesters were orphans and widows and that El-Zakzaky had been the one catering for their well-being over the years.
She said they were intimidated by the presence of security operatives.
Leader of the protesters, Abdullahi Mohammed, called on the Federal Government to unconditionally release the leader of the sect for proper medical attention.
However, the Kaduna State Police Public Relations officer, ASP Aliyu Usman, said the Shiites were not issued permit order for any protest.
He said, “We did not know they are protesting.”
“They did not take permission from us,” he added.