- The presidency has explained that it is the court that will determine the fate of El-Zakzaky, the leader of Shi'ites in Nigeria
- Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu said the federal government no longer has hand in the ongoing court case and the courts are free to determine El-Zakzaky's bail request
- The presidency, therefore, appealed to the Shi'ite members to stop violent protests and wait for the court to decide, adding that the Buhari administration is ready to enforce the decision of the court
The presidency has appealed to Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky-led Shi'ite members to desist from needless violent, street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, July 2019, El-ZakZaky's issue is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his ongoing trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.
“It is wrong to be in court and resort to violence at the same time in order to get justice for anybody accused.
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“The destruction of public property in the name of protest is not within the right of this group of Shiite members.
“And no government anywhere would have tolerated a situation where any group would take over public roads in cities as they have done in Abuja and interfere with the rights of other citizens who are prevented from reaching their destinations.
“We imagine a situation where families are taking their loved ones to hospital for emergency treatment and they are held up needlessly by the protesters. No government anywhere in the world would turn a blind eye to this unlawful behavior,’’ he added.
Shehu maintained that the case involving El-zakzaky was no longer in government domain, stressing that the federal government no more has hands in the matter.
“As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain.
“The federal government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted everyday.
“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the president and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free,’’ he said.
Shehu stated that the Buhari administration was determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued.
According to the presidential aide, the administration has absolutely no hand in the ongoing court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.
“The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.
“You can’t be provoking other citizens by interfering with their own rights on public roads and disrupting their businesses and call it democratic freedom. In democratic traditions, their rights end where the rights of others begin.
“Law abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property,’’ he said.
Shehu advised all citizens to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all their actions to promote peacefully coexistence among the diverse ethno-religious groups in the country.
“We therefore appeal to the Shiite group to stop deliberate provocations that result in violence and fatalities and allow the trial of El-ZakZaky to take its course,’’ he maintained.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) gave the federal government a two-day ultimatum by to put an end to violent protest by Shi’ites in Abuja.
Describing protests by the religious group as a nuisance to Nigerians, the natives warned the federal government that things might get out of hand if nothing is done about the situation.
Comrade Yunusa Yusuf, the leader of the natives, noted that the activities of the group had led to serious injuries for innocent persons in the FCT.
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