By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Shi’ites, have again, accused the government of plotting to label the Islamic group as a terrorist organisation with the aim of destroying the movement.
According to the Shi’ittes, one of the reasons why the federal government refused to release the leader of the Islamic group, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, despite court judgment is to tag IMN as a terrorist organisation and proscribe it.
In a statement by the IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa Sunday, he said, “we reject the renewed bid to stigmatise the Islamic Movement as violent,” pointing out that “there now appears to be some renewed efforts by the government and its agents and agencies to indelibly label the Movement as violent and terrorist as a means of finally nailing the coffin once and for all.”
“By this evil design, the ‘free Zakzaky’ campaign now gaining momentum and, indeed the Movement, will be done away with finality,” Musa said.
He remarked that “This is a multi-faceted scheme with involvement of agents at various levels and layers.”
Musa also argued that “recently, the Federal Attorney-General, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, gave an indication that proved that some sinister motives were behind their refusal to obey court judgment, when he hid under the cover of what he termed public interest as against the tag of protective custody they initially used.
“The bait here is to initiate some very alarming disruption of public peace in the name of the Islamic Movement, in order to reach their goals. This evil design of disruption of peace in our name is plotted to be of a magnitude and proportions as to sufficiently frighten the public and want them to avoid us like a plague.
“This will swing public opinion against us and want to go for our jugular, especially the law courts.
“The plots by the security forces have thickened to carry out series of attacks of such a large scale and proportions that will be subsequently attributed to the Movement, starting from the course of our peaceful activities using their agents within. In that way, they hope to associate the peaceful campaigns to ‘free Sheikh Zakzaky’ with
violence, and from there, the security forces will take it from there, and escalate it to the scale and scope they desire.
“This two-faced machination of the Security to pretend they are working to enforce
peace and security, while in fact they mean evil, is very much known to us.
“We want to unequivocally state for the umpteenth times that the use of violence is never in our character. Our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has categorically said times without numbers that we are out to save lives and not to destroy them. He said anytime you here a shot and it is said to be coming from our direction, you should know that it is fake news, as we do not use weapons or violent tactics to achieve our goals.
“This has been clearly demonstrated in the present ‘Free Zakzaky’ campaigns since the brutal massacre of over a thousand of our innocent members and the illegal detention of our leader and hundreds of his followers for the past two years.
“For sometimes now, we have been staging peaceful protest marches and sit-outs in Abuja to press home our demand for the freedom of our revered Leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife and several others in detention since the Zaria massacre of
“We have not for once resorted to the use of terror tactics. This is not about to change. We therefore reject any form of violence or use of terror tactics in our name.
“The Islamic Movement is not, and should not be, held responsible for any breech of peace or violence that will result from any false-flag plots. We will continue to employ all lawful, legal and constitutional means as we have done throughout these two years of state-perpetrated persecution to achieve our goals, and would not be blackmailed into submission or surrender.
“Our timely rallies, processions and campaign activities will continue as at when due and in our ways without fear of intimidation. Rather than beat about the bush toying with ideas of how to link innocent people with violence and, thereby, further shed innocent blood, the government should immediately free our leader and his wife, whose health is deteriorating by the day.”