NEWS has been filtering in since Thursday that Islamic leader Sheikh Ibrahim Yaqub Zaky-Zaky, who has been in the custody of Nigerian authorities since December 2015, could have passed on. There as not been an official confirmation, though since the arrest of Zak-Zaky, and some members of his family, the authorities never comment on him.
There was tension in Abuja Thursday over the news. The presence of military armoured tanks and heavily armed policemen on the streets of Kaduna Thursday added to the speculation. Zak-Zaky had the spiritual headquarters of his movement in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Zak-Zaky was arrested in December, when the army descended on the group in Zaria, after a stand-off, the group had with the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai over traffic gridlock orchestrated by the Shitte movement, during the group’s annual march. The Shittes claimed at thousands of its members were killed.
During the Kaduna State government panel of inquiry, which investigated the fracas, the state government officials confirmed a mass grave that contained at least 347 bodies of the decimated Shitte members including women and children. The Shittes refused to testify at the inquiry unless they knew the fate of their leaders el-Zaky-Zaky and his wife, both mortally wounded in the Army December 2015 onslaught, were taken prisoners and kept incommunicado, since then.
In November 2016. Security agencies clashed with the movement in Kano, accusing its members of being armed. The weapons with which they allegedly provoked the police, consisted of catapults and sticks for which the police responded with heavy machine gunfire which the media reported killed about 20 of them. However, the group said that their casualty figure is over 50. Antecedents show that the group figures are usually more correct.
A meeting of a paramilitary body in Kaduna, The Oracle Today learnt, held Thursday. Neither court orders granting him bail, nor calls by members of his movement elicited any response from the Federal Government.
In November 2016, members of his movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shittes marched to the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja to protest against the continuous detention of their leader, Zak-Zaky. The protesters, mostly women in their hundreds, were at the commission’s headquarters to submit a letter to the Commission.
Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Oti Ovrawah received the
protesters on behalf of the Commission.