The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says that its leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, is not an enemy of Nigeria.
The Islamic group also says that the message of El-Zakzaky differs from the struggle by leader, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and the secessionist, Sunday Igboho.
The Coordinator, Resource Forum of IMN, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi, gave the clarification on Saturday, following the recent social media pictures of El-Zakzaky, Kanu and Igboho displayed side-by-side.
“Recently, the social media went awash with the pictures of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky framed on both sides with the pictures of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
“Beneath the pictures is the caption: ‘Buhari is respecting Federal Character in the fight against the enemies of Nigeria’ was posted.
“First, Sheikh Zakzaky is not an enemy of Nigeria.
“For those who may care to know, man is created by the Almighty Allah and placed on this earth for a short period of time for the purpose of submitting and worshipping Him.
“To that end various Prophets have come to guide mankind, the last of them is Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
“Sheikh Zakzaky is a Muslim trying to live according to the teachings of Islam.
“In the past 40 years of his call to shun evil and tyranny, he has spent over fifteen years in various prisons across the country.
“The recent case of the military attack on his residence in December 2015, where over a thousand of his devotees were massacred including three of his biological children is still fresh in the history of mankind.
“Before then, in July 2014, 34 of his followers were gunned down including yet another three of his biological children,” he said.
Danladi said even when El-Zakzaky was asked at a press conference what action he would take over the killings, he said: “his answer was that he will apply logic and reasoning and seek redress in the appropriate manner.
“This is a scholar with over 25 million followers as reported by some media.
“Yet he appealed to his followers to always reason in their actions. Does this man look like an enemy of Nigeria?” he asked.
The university don said their leader believed in one Nigeria and preached it.
On the issue of religious differences, he said El-Zakzaky had “maintained that it is not a problem so long as we respect one another’s views and opinions.
“The religion of Islam does not force anyone to accept and practise it.
“So how can such a personality calling for the unity and prosperous life be labeled as an enemy of the country?”
According to him, no matter how daft one may be, he can clearly differentiate between the message of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and those of Nnamdi Kanu and Sundy Igboho.
“Buhari is fighting Sheikh Zakzaky for the crime of being a practising Muslim cleric and calling others to shun evil and submit to Allah in all affairs of life.
“Zakzaky has no business being in the corridors of power nor is his faith for sale.
“You may not subscribe to his ideology or mission but at least be human enough to be fair in your judgment,” Danladi concluded.