Dozens of protesting members of the Islamic Movement commonly referred to as Shi’ites on Thursday stormed the National Assembly demanding the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The peaceful protesters who were carrying placards and several portraits of the detained leader converged at the main entrance of the National Assembly from different locations at about 12:00 noon.
Leader of the protesters, Abdullahi Musa in an interview with our correspondent said they were at the Assembly to demand the immediate release of their leader whom he said has been in illegal detention for months.
He said, “We are Nigerians, we are here to demand the release of our leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who the government says is in protective custody.
“We don’t believe in their protective custody since he has not been found guilty of committing any crime, we demand his unconditional release.
“The National Assembly set up a committee which was given two weeks to investigate the Zaria masacre of our members it is more than one year now we have not heard anything.
“We demand justice for our over 1,000 members killed in Zaria by soldiers, among those killed were three biological children of our leader, they shot his wife, they shot him several times and kept him in detention without access to medical attention. We want him free.”
The protests came to an abrupt end when the Commissioner of Police, Mohammad Mustafa came to the scene.
He was accompanied by a water cannon truck and three pick up vans loaded carrying riot policemen who later took up strategic locations in from of the Assembly Complex.
A plain cloth security operative who did not identify himself appealed to the protesters to go and return another day because, “All the legislators are at a sitting and because they are not aware you were coming today, there is none of them who can come and address you.”