Members of the group marched in separate male and female columns along the roadside from the event centre to the main entrance of the National Assembly, demanding the immediate release of their leader.
Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were arrested on December 14, 2015, following a bloody crack down on Shias by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Chairman, Martyrs Foundation of IMN, Abdullhamid Bello, issued a statement on the occasion.
“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”, he said in the statement.
“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”, he stated.
Mr. Bello recalled that a court had ordered the Nigerian government to release Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife within 45 days but that the two had remained in the custody of the State Security Service over 100 days after the court order.
“The Nigerian Army that has committed this horrible massacre in Zaria remains unpunished and has 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 against 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?”
Mr. Bello appealed to Nigerians and the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government to release the IMN leader and his wife alongside members of the group unconditionally without delay.
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