The Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has suspended its streets protests for the release of their leader and his wife, Mallama Zinat.
The group, also called the Shi’ites, said the suspension, which it called temporary, was out of its respect for prominent groups and eminent Nigerians who genuinely waded into resolving the problems.
In a statement on Wednesday by its spokesman Ibrahim Musa, the movement said it suspended the protests in good faith and out of respect for eminent people and groups whose input in the resolution of the problems appeared genuine.
Reiterating IMN’s demand that their leader, his wife and several others in detention be given their freedom, having been in detention since 2015, Musa said the movement is committed to exploring the new openings to resolve the protracted issues with the government.
He added: “If at all any protests occur anywhere in the country, it might be this notice hasn’t reached those in the field or this message is misunderstood or it is some security agents who are mischievously behind it, as they have been doing in an attempt to smear our image and be seen as unruly people rather than as victims of savage oppression since 2015.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria hereby announces to the general public and the international community that it has temporarily suspended its ‘Free Zakzaky’ street protests to allow for some new openings into the resolution of the problems, especially the court case instituted by our lawyers on the proscription order by the Federal Government this week.
“We sincerely hope an amicable way could be found to solve the crises surrounding the illegal detention of our leader for almost four years now.
“The IMN wishes to thank national and international civil rights activists and organisations, which have been demanding the protection of our fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the constitution.
“We also thank the media – national and international – and social media activists for the full coverage of our activities throughout the struggle for justice.”