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Shi’ites besiege NASS, demand release of El-Zakzaky

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shi’ites or El-Zakzaky, on Thursday besieged the National Assembly, demanding the immediate release of their leader Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

According to a report by The Nation, the Shi’ites members carried various banners and posters with the pictures of El-Zakzaky.

Their presence caused the main gate of the NASS to be closed with a detachment of policemen surrounding the gate to prevent entrance into the complex.

According to the spokesman of the sect, Ibrahim Musa, there is a clear and present danger as the health of El Zakzaky has taken a downturn for the worst.

He said the group is demanding the immediate release of El Zakzaky from detention as he has been poisoned with lead

According to him, even if their leader was released immediately, there is still the need for a quick medical intervention to save his life as investigations by experts have revealed that the level of lead in his blood is at a critical level.

However, the House Leader, Hon. Alhassan Doguwa, who met them at the gate assured that their message will be relayed to the appropriate quarters.

Mr 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 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.”

Mr Doguwa commended the members of the group for the peaceful manner they had conducted themselves.

El-Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015 after a clampdown on his members by soldiers.

He had been charged for alleged conspiracy, abating culpable homicide, among other offences.

Despite a December 2016 order for his release by the court, the government has failed to release him, prompting incessant protests by his members.

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