As Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky clocks 500 days in illegal detention today Wednesday 26/04/17, we troop out en masse to show our displeasure at the continued detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky against any reasonable reasons and in defiance of legitimate court judgement on the matter.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days of unjustifiable detention, we come out in our numbers to peacefully show our dissatisfaction with the way the government of President Buhari has been handling the subject of Zaria pogrom that was conducted by the Army under his ultimate command. This was what led to the Sheikh’s unwarranted detention in the first place, and its aftermaths, including the extra judicial murder of over a thousand innocent citizens under 48 hours!

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in this unjustified detention, we have come out to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to Sheikh’s freedom and justice for all those oppressed sequel to that brutal massacre. We will not be cowed into silence by any oppressive measure this government will employ.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in this unjustified detention, we have come out to show the World that what happened on 12-14 December, 2015 is a monumental failure from this administration, which has sworn by the holy books to protect the rights of each and every Nigerian citizen irrespective of his tribe or religious inclination.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in brutal detention, it is clear for all to see that neither the federal government nor any of its various security agencies has been able to come up with any coherent charge against the revered Leader. This is a clear and incontrovertible proof of his innocence. It is not written in any of the statutor laws of this country that a bonafide citizen could be detained indefinitely without being brought before a competent court of the law.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in unlawful detention, it is now over 100 days since a federal high court sitting in Abuja ordered that he should be set released from the clutches of the authorities holding him hostage in whatever guise and by the DSS or whosoever. It is therefore baffling why a supposed democratic government would continue to contemptuously defy the rule of law with so much impunity. The lame excuse of appealing against the judgment of the high court notwithstanding, there is no counter order staying the execution of the federal high court’s judgement.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in unwarranted detention, the Nigerian Army that has committed this horrible massacre in Zaria, remain unpunished and have even chosen not to investigate what it did between 12-14 December, 2015, as it recently inaugurated an investigative panel on accusations of human rights abuses on the Army. What is the Army hierarchy afraid of that it can’t even dare investigate a serious allegation of coldblooded killing of over 1000 civilians in Zaria?

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in disastrous detention, he has been denied the right to proper medical attention that he deserves, being a 66 year old (about to mark his 66th birthday in Buhari’s gulag in the next few days). Since the fatal gunshot wounds he sustained in the course of his abduction on 14th of December, 2015 he has not been allowed medical visit by qualified physicians of his choice, even as his health continue to deteriorate.

As Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in contentious detention today, millions of his followers and sympathizers have chosen the path of civility in their strong demand for his immediate release. Even in the face of intimidation and harassment under the auspices of some state Governors, we have remained focused and peaceful. This is a clear indication that the teachings of Sheikh Zakzaky has always been nonviolent contrary to what detractors always try to paint to justify their murderous intent on innocent members of the Islamic Movement.

Finally as Sheikh Zakzaky clocks 500 days in a murderous detention, we will like to appeal to the good people of Nigeria and the international community to prevail on the government of Buhari to release our Leader, his fatally wounded wife along with other detainees unconditionally without further delay. His continued illegal incarceration does not harbor any good to all of us in the country and beyond. His continued detention is a blight on the democratic credentials of Nigeria in the comity of Nations.

Peace be upon those who peacefully thread the path of guidance while being oppressed, persevering patiently.

Sheikh Abdulhamid Bello


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