Islamic group leaders and imams have told the federal government not to allow the Islamic Movement’s violent agitations in Nigeria to degenerate into another insurgency like Boko Haram.

They voiced concern about the ongoing detention of Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, leader of the sect otherwise known as the Shi’ites, in separate interviews with our correspondent on Wednesday. They are also concerned about the group’s protests to force the FG to release their leader.

Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of Muslim Rights Concern, advised the FG to release El-Zakyzaky.

He said, “We recommend the FG show goodwill and enable Muslim community leaders in Nigeria led by Sokoto’s Sultan Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar to intervene and guarantee a Memorandum of Understanding between leader’s protesters, Muslim leaders, and the FG that will contain the conditions for the release of El-Zakyzaky such as non-violence and peaceful processions. We are not against his release, but it is necessary to ensure peace.”

Ansar-u-deen Society of Nigeria, a worldwide missionary, Imam Abdurrahman Ahmad, advised the FG to allow El-Zakyzaky to be convicted or acquitted in court.

The Muslim Public Affairs Center’s Executive Chairman, Disu Kamor, described El-Zakyzaky’s detention as “senseless and a potential threat to Nigerians.”

He said, “President Buhari should take complete responsibility for allowing this scenario under his watch to deteriorate. It seems that Nigeria is sleepwalking into another quagmire of Boko Haram in the making with the Shi’ite leader’s continuing illegal detention.”

However, Chief Imam of Abuja University, Professor Taofiq Abdulaziz, said the FG should not bow to pressure to release El-Zakyzaky, stating “through protests, other terrorist groups will overcome their offences.”

Imam Nojeem Jimoh of The Companion said, “I call on the government to review El-Zakyzaky’s situation and the detention of his wife and make a decision in the interest of peace in the country. We don’t want this leading into another Boko Haram.”

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