Shiites react to proscription, says it won't abandon religion

Posted by FN Editor | 5 years ago | 1,323 times

The spokesperson for Shiites’ organisation formally referred to as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa,  said the government could not proscribe the movement, pointing out that its members were Muslims practising Islam as “revealed” by Prophet Muhammed.

He said the group was neither an association nor a political party that could be proscribed by fiat.

According Punch, Musa noted that the IMN was a mass movement and could not be made to abandon its religion just like that.

Musa said, “Firstly, we are not an organisation or association or a political party that can be proscribed by fiat.

“We are Muslims practising Islam as revealed to Prophet Muhammed under the leadership of his family. Ours is a mass movement, hence we can’t abandon our religion just like that.

“We don’t bear arms, we don’t force others to join us, we are just demanding justice within the ambit of the law, therefore, proscribing us won’t work.

“We can’t say this is what we will do if we are proscribed, because it just won’t work. We are in each and every facet of life like other citizens.”

The IMN also said three of its members who were shot and held in police custody had died.

The sect explained that the deceased were arrested during Monday clash between its members and the police during which about 13 persons, including a deputy commissioner of police, died in Abuja.

The President, Media Forum of IMN, Musa, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the three detainees died as a result of bullet wounds they sustained during the incident.

The Federal Capital Territory police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, could not be reached for comments as calls to his phone rang out. He had yet to reply to a text message as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government may have begun moves to negotiate with the IMN in order to end the sect’s violent agitations for the release of its leader, El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

However, the development had yet to be independently verified as of the time of filing this report on Friday

A senior IMN member, Abdulrahman Abubakar, who confirmed the development on Friday, said the movement was waiting for the government to set up a committee that would negotiate with the Shiite members.

Abubakar, who is the coordinator, Free El-Zakzaky Campaign, explained that the representative of the European country handling the negotiations had met with El-Zakzaky in custody to hear from him.

Also, other sources said the Federal Government might have opened talks with the IMN to stop their protests against the continued detention of their leader.

Sources at the Nigerian Army Guards Brigade, Abuja, told Punch that the FG was not happy with the protests, which turned violent.

At the office of the National Security Adviser, a top source told our correspondent that he was not aware of any negotiation between the FG and Shiites.


Mr Femi Falana (SAN), who has been defending El-Zakzaky in court since 2015 and obtained the Federal High Court’s December 2, 2019 judgment which ordered the clergy man’s release from custody, said he was not aware of the talks between Shiites and the Federal Government.

“I am not aware of such negotiation,” he said.


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