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…..calls for immediate release of El-Zakzaky

The Acting National Coordinator of The Atiku Advancement Project,
Barr. Soalabo West has condemned the security clampdown on the Shiite
protesters who took to the streets of Abuja last week to demand the
release of imprisoned Shia cleric, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, Barr. West warned
that the crackdown on unarmed protesters put lives at risk and does
not bode well for the nation’s nascent democracy which entrenches rule
of law.

It was reported that several security officers from the army, police
as well as civil defence on Monday dispersed the protesters as
eyewitnesses said the officers fired teargas and gun shots into the
air.

Videos and footage have also been released by eyewitnesses showing the
dispersal of the protesters and how the law enforcement agencies were
brutalizing them.

In the same vein, the ex-Rivers State Governorship aspirant has called
for the immediate release of Ibrahim Zakzaky, tasking President
Muhammadu Buhari to uphold the rule of law and obey court order, which
has long ruled that the Shiite leader be freed.

Recall that President Buhari-led government has kept the Shiite leader
in custody since 2015 when his group had an encounter with a convoy of
the Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai, leading to the massacre of
about 300 Shiite members, including Mr. El-Zakzaky’s sons. The
cleric’s wife has also been detained since then.

“It is very sad that in this 21st century and democratic dispensation,
peaceful protesters are still being clamped down.  I believe that the
Shiites should be allowed to exercise their inalienable rights to
engage in demonstration provided it doesn’t pose security threats.

“They are human beings like us and they are also bonafide citizens of
our dear country. Their fundamental human rights to religion,
association etc should not be violated under Buhari-led government.

“As for the release of El-Zakzaky, on behalf of The Atiku Advancement
Project, I urge President Buhari to be a law-abiding leader, have some
respect for the judiciary, obey court order and immediately free
El-Zakzaky,” West said.

Signed:
Nkemjika Horsefall
Mediadept Barr West

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