The Guardian Newspaper is reporting that an Islamic Leader in the custody of the Nigerian authorities, may have died in detention.
The Guardian reliably learnt that the Cleric may have passed away on Thursday, with the authorities hurriedly putting security measures in place to forestall violence by his supporters, and persons sympathetic to his cause.
A meeting of a paramilitary body in Kaduna, on Thursday, was swiftly concluded, with members warned to stay indoors and not travel back to their States, for fear of a possible backlash following the rumoured death.
Followers of the embattled Cleric, have for months called for his release. The authorities however, appeared to have had other reasons for holding him, despite court orders granting him bail.
The Army allegedly holding the Cleric in “protective custody”, was silent on his current fate.
His supporters warned the Federal Government not to use the rumoured death of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, as a pretext to create a crisis.
“Security agents are spreading false information and rumours, with a view to breaking our will and causing confusion, so that they could seize the opportunity to turn our peaceful protests into violence.
“Credible reports have confirmed that hoodlums have been commissioned by the authorities to foment trouble, by burning tyres and property in the course of our peaceful processions.
“Part of their evil plot involves spreading false news of the alleged death of our Leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, due to illness, on fake Facebook profile pages”, said the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, in Kaduna.
The group said the security agencies, “had hoped to achieve their mischievous aims by wreaking havoc and attributing the same to the supposed reaction of members of the Islamic Movement. When all their evil machinations failed woefully, they went wild and opened fire on peaceful protesters that were demanding the immediate release of Sheikh El-Zakzaky, to enable him to attend to his deteriorating health.”
It added: “This Police fury followed their inability to cash in on the effects of such fake news and reports they have circulated on social media, to incite violence to discredit the Islamic Movement.
“The Islamic Movement will like to reiterate its age-long stand of adopting peaceful means in pursuing its objectives. We vehemently reject any attempt to label us as violent. We are so orderly than for anybody to incite us into taking illogical violent means. We would not be held responsible for anything contrary to our peaceful resolve and methods.”