Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, the body of Shiites in the country, on Friday blocked the Zaria-Kaduna expressway, to protest against the prolonged detention of their leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015.
El Zakzaky was arrested by the Nigerian army after troops clashed with Shi’a members, killing over 300 of them.
The army said the Shiites had blocked the road in an attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
Premium Times quoted sources as saying that “thousands” of Shiites blocked the expressway on Friday, denying road users passage and that security operatives were deployed to the area.
A spokesperson for the Shi’as, Musa Ibrahim, confirmed to the online news medium that he had received report that “some of our members” embarked on procession today, Friday, and were “attacked by thugs”.
“A report just reached my desk,” said Mr. Ibrahim. “Some of members embarked on peaceful procession today. But they were attacked by thugs at Maraban Jos (along Kaduna-Zaria expressway.”
He added that he was informed that the police intervened in the fight “but I don’t know whether there is casualty”.
He said the “procession” was to demand the release of Sheik Zakzaky”.