Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly called Shi’ites, on Thursday besieged the National Assembly during a protest for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky.
The Shi’ites members carried various banners and posters with the pictures of El Zakzaky.
Their presence led to the closure of the main gate to the National Assembly with a detachment of policemen surrounding the area to prevent the protesters from entering the complex.
The sect’s spokesman Ibrahim Musa said there was a clear and present danger as the health of El Zakzaky had worsened.
He said the group was demanding the immediate release of their leader from detention as he had allegedly been poisoned with lead.
According to him, even if El Zakyzaky was released immediately, there would be need for him to have quick medical intervention to save his life.
Musa said investigations by experts had revealed that the level of lead in the Muslim scholar’s blood was at a dangerous level.
But House Leader Alhassan Ado Doguwa, who met the protesters at the gate, assured them that their message would be relayed to appropriate quarters.
Doguwa said: “This place, called the National Assembly, provides a window where you come and ventilate your concern and anger. But I assure you, I give you my commitment and the commitment of this institution, that we will address this issue that you raised.
“And in promising you, I will collect the contacts of your leaders. And by the time I am able to convince my colleagues and superiors, we will get back to you and discuss further. This we will do with immediate alacrity.”
Doguwa hailed members of the group for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves.
Recall that El-Zakzaky, has been in detention since December 2015 and has remained in detention since sequel to a clampdown on his members by soldiers.
He had been charged for alleged conspiracy, abating culpable homicide, among other offences. In spite of a December 2016 order for his release by the court, the government has failed to release him, prompting incessant protests by his members.