Photos- Millions of Nigerian Muslims Mark Int’l Quds Day despite Heavy Military Presence
Millions of people have attended the International Quds day marches organised by the Islamic Movement across Nigerian cities on Friday 01-07-16 to show their solidarity with the opressed Palestinian people and condemn Israeli atrocities in occupied territories of Palestine.
Thousands of Members of the Islamic Movement in Sokoto, Katsina and Potiskum started their peaceful procession in the morning before Friday prayers, where they followed the major streets chanting slogans in support of the Palestinian course.
In Katsina Sheikh Yaqoub Yahya addressed the mammoth crowd that participated in the march, calling on the international community to sever the hands of Israeli usurpers in Palestine.
In Sokoto it was Sheikh Qasim Umar that called on the thousands that attended the march not to relent in their efforts to see to the liberation of Palestine from the clutches of Israeli Zionists.
However the Quds Day marches were held after Friday prayers in many other cities like Kaduna, Zaria, Kano, Bauchi, Yola, Lafia, Gombe and Jalingo.
With members of the Movement cladded in white T-shirts with inscriptions “Free Sheikh Zakzaky”, Free Palestine” they also called for the immediate and unconditional release of the leader of the Movement who has been in detention since the Army attacked the center of the Movement in Zaria last December.
Addressing the protesters at the close of the event in Kaduna, Malam Aliyu Tirmizi who led the demonstration warned against the importation of state terrorism by the Nigerian government from Israel as evident in what happened in Zaria last December.
Even though prior to the Quds Day procession there was wide spread apprehension that Nigerian Army will attack the protesters, it ended peacefully.
Soldiers were cited in Katsina and Sokoto during the marches, however they did not make any effort to disperse the protest.
During the marches, public statement was issued and distributed to bystanders, signed by Sheikh Abdulhamid Bello.
“As we march out today in millions on the streets to protest against Israeli occupation and aggression in Palestine, we are answering the call made by Imam Khomeini in 1979, wherein he declared the liberation of Quds ‘a religious duty of all Muslims.’ “I invite Muslims all over the globe to observe the last Friday of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day, and to pledge support and solidarity to the people of Palestine and their legitimate rights. I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join hands and sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters,” said Ayatollah Khomeini of blessed memory,” according to the public statement issued.
The statement was concluded thus: “In conclusion, as we demand for the complete and unconditional withdrawal from all Israeli occupied territories including Jerusalem, acknowledging and facilitating the return of the Palestinians who were forced to leave their land after 1948 Nakab, compensation for the damage of land and property, and ban on the building of new settlements and immediate evacuation of all existing settlements; we also call for the unconditional release of our Leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and all other members of the Islamic Movement languishing in detention centres across the country.”