Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, on Tuesday, said those seeking to destroy the sect, after the 2015 Zaria massacre, have failed woefully as they ended up raising a bigger movement.
He made this disclosure during his first meeting with representatives of various chapters and forums of the religious sect in Abuja, Vanguard reports.
According to El-Zakzaky, the persecution targeted at the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), coupled with his six years of incarceration, increased the fortunes and visibility of the Muslim organisation globally.
El-Zakzaky said: “If the culprits launched the all-out attack with a view to crushing the Movement, they had not succeeded with anything other than raising the Movement to a level which was not before expected.
“We could say the 2015 Zaria massacre is really a trying period which affected the public.”
He extended appreciation to all domestic and foreign human rights organisations and humanitarian groups that were pressing for his unconditional release from detention as well as catering to the needs of his followers, who suffered various injuries and losses in the quest for his freedom.
El-Zakzaky condoled with the families that lost their loved ones during the 2015 military attack on the sect and in the quest for justice.
He prayed to God to reward them abundantly and make paradise their final abode.
Forces under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government killed three of El-Zakzaky's six sons.
According to Amnesty International, more than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully killed by the Nigerian military between 12 and 14 December 2015, following a confrontation between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.
This sad event is today known as the Zaria Massacre.
And according to a report by the United Kingdom-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), 34 defenceless Nigerians, including three sons of El-Zakzaky were murdered in cold blood on July 25 and 26, 2014.
This was during the government of Goodluck Jonathan.
More than 100 others were also injured, it added.
Those killed were identified as Mahmud of Al-Mustapha University, Beirut; Ahmad, a chemical engineering student at Shenyang University, China; and Hamid, an aeronautical engineering student at Xian University, China.