A pro-democracy group, Concerned Nigerians, has called for the unconditional release of its convener, Deji Adeyanju, who was arrested over the clash between the security operatives and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
It also called for justice for those who lost their lives in the melee between Shi’a Muslims and security operatives near the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja.
In a statement on Monday night by its National Publicity Secretary, Theophilus Abu, Concerned Nigerians further cautioned the government against hounding free citizens, using the instrumentality of the state.
The statement reads: “Concerned Nigerians group calls for the release of their Convener Deji Adeyanju, condemns Police clampdown on Shia Protestors
“We condemn the illegal detention of our Convener, Deji Adeyanju by the Inspector General of Police.
“Deji Adeyanju honoured an invitation from the office of the inspector General of Police at about 10am this morning and was in the office of the IG of Police when the protestors at the Human Rights Commission were being harassed by officers and men of the Nigerian Police.
“We hereby demand the immediate release of our Convener Deji Adeyanju and ask the Nigeria Police and the IG to respect the right to freedom of assembly as enshrined in our constitution.
“The United Nations human rights resolution which Nigeria is signatory to, allows everyone to hold opinions without interference.
“The illegal detention of our Convener, Mr Deji Adeyanju over the incident at the Human Rights Commission is another attempt by this despotic government to intimidate individuals into submission to their neo nazi inclinations.
“Moreover, we are calling on the government to be responsible and stop hounding citizens using the instrumentality of the state.
“We call for justice for the IMN member that was brutally murdered today by the Nigerian police and the officers responsible for this unfortunate death be brought to justice.
“We are greatly displeased that our group and that of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, would in a space of one week be gruesomely attacked by the Nigerian Police for exercising our fundamental right to peacefully assemble as enshrined in our constitution.
“Like we have always emphasized, the Nigerian Police should desist from infringing on our right to peaceful assembly and movement as guaranteed by the constitution.
“We are peaceful organization and our conducts since the inception of our daily sit-out has been very peaceful.
“This consistent attack on our group by the Nigerian Police is not only reprehensible but shameful.
“We equally condemn the reprisal attack by the Shittes that resulted in the destruction of properties of innocent Nigerians today.
“We enjoin the IMN group to always remain peaceful as they’ve always been since their leader was illegally detained. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
“Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) (As Amended) clearly recognize and protect our ’ fundamental Rights to freely express ourselves and associate.
“This attack was simply an assault on our peaceful assembly and this must not continue as Nigeria is not a Police State.
“We are not violent group and all what we are demanding for is the immediate release of Sheik Zakzaky and his wife. The moment the government obeys the court order, we will be out of the fountain.
“We will not stop until those who were extrajudicially killed in Zaria get justice and IMN leader Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky and his wife are released from detention.”