Members of a pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians, have urged the Federal Government to release the detained leader of the Shi’ite Islamic sect, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibraheem to them because they (group members) are ready to be their neighbours.
The group also said that they are ready to house the Islamic leader and his wife should the Federal government set them free.
They were reacting to a recent statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed wherein he said that no Nigerian is willing to be a neighbour to Sheik Zakzaky.
Alhaji Mohammed was equally quoted as saying that Zakzaky and his wife are not being detained or in custody of the police or DSS but in a home built by the current All Progressives Congress, APC government.
However, a statement signed by the group’s Convener, Prince Deji Adeyanju and the Secretary, John Danfulani said the federal government should consider the Islamic leader’s immediate family, his lawyer and members whom, they said have been denied access to their leader, and release him.
“The sheik and his wife have been denied access to his immediate and extended family, his lawyers and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) who are his immediate constituent. How can the Minister of Information say the Sheik and his wife are living in a house built by this government and no member of his immediate family, his lawyers or IMN members have been allowed to visit him in that house?
“Information available to us suggests that Sheik Zakzaky and his wife are still in DSS custody and have remained there ever since their arrest in December 2015.
“It is not true that no Nigerian is willing to be a neighbour to Sheik zakzaky or accept him.
“We are willing and ready to accept Zakzaky as neighbour. In fact, our Kaduna state coordinator and members both in Kaduna city and Zaria are ready to house Zakzaky and his wife and support their reintegration into the society. We are also willing and ready to provide accommodation for Zakzaky and his wife pending his permanent reintegration.
We are therefore appealing to the federal government to release sheik Zakzaky and his wife to us and end his unlawful and illegal and prolonged incaceration.”