Shiite members block highway, demand El-Zakzaky’s release

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, the body of Shiites in the country, on Friday, blocked the Zaria-Kaduna Expressway to protest against the prolonged detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Premium times has reported.

Mr. Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015.

He was arrested by the Nigerian Army after troops clashed with Shi’a members, reportedly killing over 300 of them.

The victims were allegedly secretly buried in a mass grave in Kaduna.

The army has denied the attack.

It, however, admitted using force, saying the Shiites had blocked the road in an attempt to assassinate its chief, Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General.

A source told premiumtimes.com that “thousands” of Shiites blocked the expressway on Friday, denying road users passage.

The source said security operatives were deployed to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Shi’as, Musa Ibrahim, confirmed to Premium Times that he had received report that “some of our members” embarked on procession today (Friday) and were attacked by thugs.”

“A report just reached my desk,” said Mr. Ibrahim. “Some of members embarked on peaceful procession today. But they were attacked by thugs at Maraban Jos (along Kaduna-Zaria Expressway.”

He added that he was informed that the police intervened in the fight “but I don’t know whether there is casualty.”

He said the “procession” was to demand the release of Sheik Zakzaky.”