Concerns about Nigeria Islamic Movement leader’s health

SHAFAQNA – A former student of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky , leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, voiced concern over the health conditions of the senior cleric.

Mustafa Muhammad said members of the IMN who met with Sheikh Zakzaky on Friday have described his health as grave.

He said the situation of Shias in Nigeria is not good at all as the government has adopted a confrontational approach against them.

The government has been taking measures aimed at eliminating Shia Islam in the country, he added.

According to Mustafa Muhammad, the government is worried about the spread of Shia Islam in the African country.

In December last year, Nigerian military forces surrounded the house of the religious leader in the northern city of Zaria.

Heavy fighting broke out afterwards between the government forces and members of the Islamic Movement.

Nearly a thousand Shia Muslims were killed and Sheikh Zakzaky was arrested in the attack. The Nigerian Army alleged that members of the movement were involved in an attack on the convoy of the Chief of Nigeria’s Army Staff, Tukur Buratai. The Islamic Movement vehemently denied the allegations.

The IMN is still under siege and its leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky remains under arrest.

Although mass protests have called for Sheikh Zakzaky to be released, Nigeria hasn’t budged.

Human rights groups say the government’s allegations against him are bizarre. An advocate of human rights and religious freedoms, the senior cleric is claimed by the government of having incited public unrest.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has been failing to deal with a group that is practicing violence – Boko Haram, a Saudi-influenced Takfiri movement that condemns Shias as heretics.

The UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission is concerned that Nigerian killing of Shias continues under the pretext of hunting Boko Haram.

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