Mohammed Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the surviving son of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has in an emotional tribute spoken about the travail and release of his parents from the prison, nearly six years after they were detained.
Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, were released by a Kaduna State High Court on Wednesday. They were in 2015 after a bloody clash with the Nigerian Army which led to the death of some of his children and many devotees of the Islamic sect.
The IMN members were protesting over the arrest of some of their members when they blocked the convoy of the then Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (now retired) in Kaduna. The protesters refused to clear the way for the Chief of Army Staff eventually led to the bloody clash that ended up in the arrest of Mr El-Zakzaky.
Despite pressures from within and outside the country for the Shia cleric’s release, the Nigerian government held him in open defiance to several court pronouncements.
The government eventually bowed to pressure to respect a court order on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
In response to the final release of his parents, the Sheik’s son penned a tribute in appreciation to all those who worked hard to ensure the release of his parents.
His writeup reads:
“As you are aware my father, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and Mother, Zeenah Ibraheem, have recently regained their freedom after the Kaduna state High Court discharged and acquitted them of all charges filed by the current Kaduna State Administration.”
“After expressing our profound gratitude to Allah, the Almighty, we wish to also express our appreciation to all those that stood by us during this ordeal that has lasted two thousand and fifty-five days (2055) nearly 6 years.
“I along with our entire family wish to especially thank those men, women and children who stood firm in the face of injustice, risking life and limb to demand justice and freedom for them, both inside and outside this country. Of special note are the heroes who marched daily in Abuja non-stop for 5 years, a monumental act of sacrifice seldom heard of and certainly unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“I wish to express our gratitude to human rights organizations who continued to help provide us with a voice during this difficult time. Of special note Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and especially The Islamic Human Rights Commission for ensuring that the Atrocities carried out in December 2015 could not be simply covered up,” he wrote.
He also commended journalists and the legal team of his parents.
“We hail the efforts of free media and those journalists whose commitment to the truth shone even in the face of censorship, threats and often lethal violence. We commend your steadfastness and bravery, and wish to thank you for all those times you refused to turn a blind eye to tyranny, discrimination and other crimes being committed in the name of the state.”
“Last but certainly not least I wish to thank my parent’s competent and loyal legal team that was ably led by Chief Femi Falana SAN, who despite all the malicious manoeuvres to delay, manipulate and obstruct the judicial due process, the legal team persevered and ultimately prevailed. We will be eternally grateful for your efforts.”