Islamic Movement in Nigeria, otherwise known as Shiites, on Wednesday in Kaduna, had its members defied police order to protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and others currently being detained by security agents.
The protesters, mostly children and women, marched through the Muhammadu Buhari Way (formerly Waff Road) in the Kaduna metropolis.
They carried the portrait of the Shiite leader, chanting, “Free our leader;” “Please free El-Zakzaky,” “We want justice,” and “He needs to go for medical treatment.”
One of the protesters, Ibrahim al-sunni, who claimed they trekked all the way from Zaria, about 80 kilometers away from the Kaduna metropolis, said they were heading towards Abuja.
She added that they had been on the road since Tuesday and vowed to remain in Abuja until their leader is released.
Al-sunni 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 added that they remained unperturbed by the presence of security operatives adding that “nothing can stop us on our way to Abuja. We started trekking from Zaria since yesterday (Tuesday) and some military personnel were taking our photographs.”
Saidu said the military should be held responsible if “anything should happen to us on our way to Abuja.”
The leader of the protesters, Abdullahi Mohammed, called on the Federal Government to release the leader of the sect unconditionally for proper medical attention.
The protesters distributed leaflets to passersby, saying it was eight months since their leader was taken into protective custody by the Department of State Services and nothing had been heard about him.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command said the IMN members were not issued permit order for any protest.