Alwaght-Nigerian security forces have violently dispersed peaceful rallies in the capital Abuja and Kaduna as people were calling for the immediate release of ailing Islamic Movement Leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
During the Abuja protest, Nigeria’s security attacked a rally called to express solidarity with Sheikh Zakzaky.
Nigerian forces used teargas and water cannon to disperse the peaceful protesters who were demanding an end to the illegal detention of the senior Islamic scholar. Hundreds of Shiite Muslims, most of them women, took part in the demonstration.
Meanwhile in the north-western Nigerian city of Kaduna, a peaceful protest called on Tuesday to demand the release of Sheikh Zakzaky turned violent after police fired live bullets at the demonstrators.
The protest came as people in northern Nigeria continue to hold marches to demand the release of Sheikh Zakzaky based on a court order.
Thousands of Islamic Movement supporters and sympathizers have taken part in peaceful rallies in cities such as Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Minna and other places on Tuesday to demand that Muhammadu Buhari’s regime releases Sheikh Zakzaky immediately.
Meanwhile, Concerns are mounting for the Sheikh's deteriorating health following injuries sustained from gunshot wounds during the military assault against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in December 2015.
During that attack in Zaria over 1,000 civilians were killed in a brutal crackdown by Nigerian troops. As the massacre was going on Sheikh Zakzaky was badly assaulted by government troops and lost the use of an arm and one of his eyes.
He was thereafter abducted by security forces and has been in the illegal custody of Nigeria's domestic intelligence agency (DSS). Reports from family members now indicate that he is in real danger of losing sight in his other eye as he languishes in detention without any charges preferred against him in a court of law.
Despite repeated pleas the Buhari regime has refused to release Sheikh Zakzaky and neither has he been allowed access to suitable medical treatment.