Nigerian Shiites Celebrate Easter With Biggest Church In Niger Republic

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria stormed the largest church congregation in Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, to felicitate with the Christians on the Easter celebration.

The IMN members, numbering more than 50, were seen in the Easter Sunday church service at the Catholic Church in Niamey, participating in the worship.

Although 99 percent of the 23.23 million people of Niger Republic are Muslims, Christians make up almost the rest of the population.

Also, Shia Muslims make up close to 10 percent of the total population.

In Nigeria, the Shiites have been demanding for years the release of their spiritual leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, who have been in the Department of State Service’s detention since December 2015.

Only on February 7, the IMN stated that its members were ready to lay down their lives for the release of their spiritual leaders.

The group, which usually speaks through Abdullahi Musa, who is the Secretary of its Academic Forum, said no amount of bullets and guns would make them give up on their struggle and daily protests on the streets of Abuja, the Nigerian federal capital.

The group said the killing of its members by the police would not in any way deter or hinder them from engaging in a mass protest to demand the unconditional release of their leaders.

IMN reminded President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that oppression and tyranny have never solved any problem. They stated that they would attain their mission in a short period of time.

“Oppression and tyranny have never solved any problem trumped up or perceived neither, senseless killing of citizens.

The sect had also called on the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government and security agents to thread with caution and stop the “senseless” killing of its members.

The statement had also condemned the alleged killing of two members, Yunusa Abdulsalam and Kabiru Ahmad, by anti-riot policemen during a protest at Transcorp Hilton, and Banex Plaza, both in the FCT last week.

“It is high time police brutality and the waves of bloodletting stopped. Someone should call the Nigeria Police Force to order. Or, is the NPF a law unto itself? Many people were at the receiving end, and there are shreds of evidence to support this.

“They seriously injured numerous protesters who are left with critical gunshot injuries, needing urgent treatment. Unfortunately, these victims may not receive the medical or surgical treatment their conditions require. They get dumped at the SWAT headquarters, they should be released.

“In a beleaguered country under serious siege of bandits and kidnappers, only justice can make the future bright. However, from the look of things, it is already bleak.

“Sheikh Zakzaky was met in his residence, riddled with bullets and his body dragged on the gory corpses of his sons that had been killed in cold blood; his wife sustained several gunshot injuries with bullet shrapnel still lodging in her body. Yet, the couple remain incarcerated, despite their alarming health condition,” the statement added.

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