Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have embarked on a peaceful march to protest the killing of Ali Zakari, a 300 level Chemistry student, who was alleged to have been shot by the Nigerian Army in Potiskum, Yobe State, during the Ashura procession.
Chanting anti-government songs, the protesters came out en masse, displaying placards as they thronged the office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to make a formal complaint.
Members of the sect carried pictures of the deceased and called for thorough investigation into the killing of the student, who is said to be an undergraduate of a college of education affiliated with the University of Maiduguri.
Abdullahi Muhammadu Musa, leader of the group, accused the Army attached to the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Potiskum of unleashing terror on their members during the Ashura procession.
He said that Zakari was standing by the roadside to catch a glimpse of the peaceful procession, but was shot by one of the officers and left in a pool of his own blood, before he was rushed to the hospital.
“On Friday, 21st September, 2018, the Nigerian Army attached to the Joint Task Force in Potiskum attacked the Ashura programme, a religious gathering to commemorate Imam Hussainin Ali (AS), the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammadu. During the attack, a passer-by who was watching the procession was killed and three other disciples of Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky were seriously injured by gunshots from the army,” Musa stated.
He explained further that Zakari later died on October 1 in the hospital where he was receiving treatment as a result of the injuries he sustained.
The protesters asked the human rights commission to conduct an independent investigation into the matter and bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
The group also charged Nigerians to unite to stop the killings going on in Jos, Plateau State.
Lambert Oparah, the Director of Corporate Affairs and External Linkage, who received a protest letter on behalf of the commission, said the commission would do everything possible within its mandate to conduct investigation into the complaints made by the group.
“The commission will do everything within its mandate to ensure that the complaints you laid here are investigated thoroughly. First, we have started this process long time ago and we will continue to do that until we ensure that justice is assured,” he said.
“The case of Ali Zakari is regrettable. Secondly, the issue happening in Jos; of course every Nigerian is concerned. Our office is investigating them and once they turn in their report from our zonal office in Jos, we would make them available to the appropriate authority for immediate action.”