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Nigerian Shiites Celebrate Easter With Christians




Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria stormed the largest church congregation in Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, to felicitate with the Christians on Easter celebration.

The IMN members, numbering more than 50, were seen in the Easter Sunday church service at the Catholic Church in Niamey, participating in the worship.

Although 99 percent of the 23.23 million people of Niger Republic are Muslims, Christians make up almost the rest of the population.

Also, Shia Muslims make up close to 10 percent of the total population.

In Nigeria, the Shiites have been demanding for years the release of their spiritual leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, who have been in the Department of State Service’s detention since December 2015.

Only on February 7, the IMN stated that its members were ready to lay down their lives for the release of their spiritual leaders.

The group, which usually speaks through Abdullahi Musa, who is the Secretary of its Academic Forum, said no amount of bullets and guns would make them give up on their struggle and daily protests on the streets of Abuja, the Nigerian federal capital.

“Oppression and tyranny have never solved any problem, trumped up or perceived neither, senseless killing of citizens. From Monday 25th to Thursday 28th January, 2021, police operatives assaulted free-Zakzaky protesters with teargas canisters and live bullets for no reason other than the demand for the release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Malama Zeenah.

“Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammad Adamu, ought to be reminded of our determination to lay down our lives in order to get what we want. As oppressive and tyrannical as the Buhari regime is, we can’t be daunted by threats, nor death, by whatever means. If what Buhari stage-managed in Zaria in December 2015 did not deter us, what is there to stop us from accomplishing this objective?” the IMN statement had said.

The sect had also called on the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government and security agents to thread with caution and stop the “senseless” killing of its members.

“It is high time police brutality and the waves of bloodletting stopped. Someone should call the Nigeria Police Force to order. Or, is the NPF a law unto itself? Many people were at the receiving end, and there are shreds of evidence to support this.

“They seriously injured numerous protesters who are left with critical gunshot injuries, needing urgent treatment. Unfortunately, these victims may not receive the medical or surgical treatment their conditions require. They get dumped at the SWAT headquarters, they should be released.

“In a beleaguered country under serious siege of bandits and kidnappers, only justice can make the future bright. However, from the look of things, it is already bleak.

“Sheikh Zakzaky was met in his residence, riddled with bullets and his body dragged on the gory corpses of his sons that had been killed in cold blood; his wife sustained several gunshot injuries with bullet shrapnel still lodging in her body. Yet, the couple remain incarcerated, despite their alarming health condition,” the statement added.

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