Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the Shi’ite group, has temporarily suspended its street protests pushing for the release of its detained leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzakky; and wife, Zeenat, held for the past four years.
Street protests in Abuja last week led to the death of a Deputy Commissioner of Police; one Channels TV reporter on the compulsory national youth service; and at least 11 Shi’ite members.
The IMN, in a Wednesday statement by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, announced: “The Islamic Movement in Nigeria do hereby announce to the general public and the international community that it has temporarily suspended its Free Zakzaky street protests to allow for some new openings into the resolution of the problems, especially the court case instituted by our lawyers on the proscription order made by the federal government this week.
“It has taken this step in good faith out of respect for some eminent people and groups, whose input in the resolution of the problems appears genuine and we sincerely hope an amicable way could be found to solve the crises surrounding the illegal detention of our leader for almost four years now.
“If at all any protests occur anywhere in the country, it might be this notice hasn’t reach those in the field or this message is misunderstood or it is some security agents who are mischievously behind it as they have been doing in an attempt to smear our image and be seen as unruly people rather than as victims of savage oppression since 2015.
“The Islamic Movement wishes to thank both national and international civil rights activists and organizations who have been busy demanding the protection of our fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“We also thank the press, both national and international, and the social media activists for the full coverage of our activities throughout the struggle for justice.
“We are committed to exploring the new openings we have seen in resolving this protracted issue. We therefore reiterate our demand that our leader, his wife and several others in detention be given their freedom denied to them since 2015”.