Shiites urge VP Osinbajo to release El-Zakzaky, wife

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, has urged Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to release its leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife from detention.

The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, made the renewed call yesterday in a statement.

He said they were encouraged by Osinbajo’s recent statement at Eko Stakeholders Summit, which condemned police and judges for illegally detaining suspects without trial.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, represented the acting president at the summit.

Musa urged Osinbajo, in his capacity as the acting president to release their detained leaders in line with his declaration at the summit.

He said this was necessary since a Federal High Court had ordered their release over a year ago.

He accused the Federal Government of not respecting the rule of law, stating that despite the fact that El-Zakzaky met his bail conditions within the stipulated time, he is yet to regain his freedom.

He said it is conflicting for government to condemn illegal detention of suspects when El-Zakzaky and others had been detained for more than one year without charging them to court.

Musa said: “It is unfortunate that Osinbajo, who is a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), could serve in a regime that flouts court orders.”

He, therefore, urged Malami to demonstrate the country’s respect for the rule of law by commencing the process of their release.

Shi’ites to President Buhari: Stop beating around the bush

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as the Shi’ites or Shia, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “stop beating around the bush” and obey court orders on the release of their leader, Ibraheem El Zakzaky.

In a statement released on Sunday by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, the organisation described as “unusual” the categorisation of Shi’ites as “brothers and sisters” by Buhari in his New Year message, after initially describing them as “a state within a state” in less than a year.

They also decried his call that they must accept the laws of the country.

“Have we not challenged all acts of brutality and extra-judicial killing of our members in our law courts peacefully?” they asked.


In his New Year message to Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, made an unusual call to those he termed the Shia community, whom he referred to as his “brothers and sisters.”

We note the leap in his outlook of the IMN from his infamous “state within a state” gaffe in his maiden Presidential speech to “our brothers and sisters of the Shia Community” all within one year. This is a remarkable feat considering the snail speed his administration has come to be characterized with.

Beyond this however, the President actually evaded the points at issue. His call that we “must accept the laws of the country” we live in should actually have been echoed to him. Have we not challenged all acts of brutality and extra-judicial killing of our members in our law courts peacefully? Even in the face of extreme persecution and provocation, we have followed the laws of the land, not by taking the laws into our hands, or by employing jungle justice or disobeying any legitimate laws of the country, but by seeking redress in law courts, even as we know of the administration’s legendary disregard for court orders.

On the contrary, Mr President, you are yet to obey the court order to release our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, whom you have held in illegal detention, without charges, for more than a year now despite a court order for his release! Mr President, only last week our leading Counsel, Femi Falana (SAN) had written to remind you of that court order through your Chief Law officer, the Attorney-General. Thus, we must ask you to stop begging the question. You should obey the laws of the country you lead by obeying court order to free Sheikh Zakzaky immediately!

Secondly, Mr President, we are not an “island” by ourselves as your speech portrayed. We are well embedded into all aspects of the society, contributing positively in various ways to its success. We have built bridges across both intra and inter-faith divides. We have been bridging gaps across tribal and regional divides. We have been exposing the evil machination of authorities against its very citizens. Is that not the very reason the authorities seek to curtail what they perceive as our glowing influence and impact on the society? When campaign of blackmail and calumny by government and its protégé failed woefully, your government applied maximum and irrational force in attempt to crush us. Again on the contrary, you are more of an island into yourself, detached from reality. You rely on cooked up reports, which you call “intelligence” based on private prejudices that do not reflect reality to formally crystallize into official resentment and hate for a group and its leadership.

We take your call Mr President that the law enforcement agencies must treat us “humanely and according to the rule of law” as a confessional statement and an admittance that hitherto, they’ve acted inhumanly like beasts. We wish to remind you what our leader said at the inception of your administration, that you should re-constitute and re-orientate the Nigerian Army in order not to inherit “an army that sees citizens as enemies.” This advice to you to bring change in the way the military operated against civilians and the Movement was widely reported in the media. It is still apt.

Finally, we call on the President to stop beating around the bush. He must release Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky immediately as ruled by the Court of the land. We expect him to also order for the immediate release of all those who are still being held in various places of detention across the country since the brutal attack on us. We expect him to take bold steps against the officers that massively killed citizens in Zaria, Kaduna, Kano, Funtua and Sokoto since the onset of the attacks on us in December of 2015. We expect actions to address the matter of victims secretly buried in mass graves. We demand for payment of compensation for lives and property destroyed in the ill-conceived attacks. We await his words of condolences in relation to those extra-judicially killed since the pogrom started.

Don’t protest in Abuja, Police warn Shiite IMN members

The police have warned the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, not to embark on any protest in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command said it had been informed of a planned protest by the IMN.

The police warned the group to desist from embarking on any protest.

“The attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to the plan by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to carry out mass protest at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja on Wednesday, 14th, December, 2016.

“The Command wants to state unequivocally that the action of the group is illegal as they have neither written to notify the Command of their planned action nor have they secured any approval from the Commissioner of Police go on with the planned protest.

“It is sequel to the above that FCT Police Command is warning members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to immediately stay action on their planned protest or be prepared to be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate sections of the law,” said the statement which was signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Manzah Anjuguri.

Despite court orders rulings that have shown that Nigerians do not need a police permit to embark on protest, the police have always insisted on such especially for protests considered unfavourable to the government in power.

In a reaction to the police statement, a leader of the IMN said the group has no immediate plans to embark on such protest.

The Secretary General of the Academic Forum of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the matter, said his members have not protested since a court ruling ordering the release of the Shiite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

“We took the case to court. And the court ruled in our favour and said that they should release our leader in 45 days. What sense will it make if we start protesting before that time. We have not protested and we will not protest till the 45 days elapses; if he is not released,” Mr. Musa said.

“Although I heard that a group protested yesterday, but I am telling you that we, the Shiite members whom I speak for, have not protested and will not protest now,” he said.

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on December 2 ordered the release of Mr. El-Zakzaky.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered the Nigerian government to release the cleric within 45 days, from December 2.

Mr. El-Zakzaky has been detained without trial since December last year after over 300 members of the IMN were killed by soldiers in controversial circumstances in Kaduna.

Lawyers disagree with Kaduna govt. labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

Nigerian lawyers have expressed divergent views on the legality of the action by the Kaduna State government designating the Shiite group, IMN, an “insurgent group.”

While one of the lawyers who spoke in interviews with PREMIUM TIMES said the declaration was constitutional, others said it was not.

The Kaduna State government in a White Paper released on Monday said “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government also vowed to prosecute the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for “crimes” committed by him and his followers for the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai; a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on December 2 declared the detention of Mr. El-Zakzaky as unconstitutional and ordered his release within 45 days.

The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, also awarded a N50 million fine in favour of Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, against the State Security Service, SSS, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

He ordered that a safe place of residence be created for the cleric and his wife in Kaduna State, and that the IMN should not be demonised.

“I am of the view that the applicant need not be demonised, but that they should be allowed to practice the faith they choose,” said Mr. Kolawole.

Three days after Mr. Kolawole’s judgement, the Kaduna government announced its decision to label the IMN an insurgent group. The state government had earlier banned the group.


In his reaction, Akin Olujimi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the Kaduna government acted based on law, and therefore the declaration was constitutional.

“The terrorism act contains provisions empowering government to declare an organisation a terrorism organisation. These are security issues that rely in intelligence which you and I may not be privy to. So when they have those intelligence they can now come out to say the group is a terrorist group,” he said.

“But we must also know that the court has a power to determine a matter before it. If the court has enough evidence before it that a group is a terrorism organisation the court will make such a pronouncement. But if it does not have enough evidence to make such a declaration, it will not make such a pronouncement. It will only ensure that the fundamental rights of parties are respected.”

In a contrary opinion, another senior advocate, Simon Ameh, said the declaration is null and void.

“The people are entitled to peaceful assembly, it is their constitutional right. He (the governor) has no right to ban them. The Kaduna State government just has a duty to ensure compliance to law and order. But this declaration in law is null and void,” said Mr. Ameh.

Similarly, another lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, said the declaration is a complete aberration of the provisions of law and an invitation to disaster.

“Even without a positive pronouncement of a court order, the act by the Kaduna State government is illegal and unconstitutional,” Mr. Ogunye said.

“The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution and government ought not to make it a habit to infringe on that right.

“The Shiite are a religious minority in northern Nigeria and the invasion by the northern part of Nigeria including the Nigerian government is that they are using state authority to wage a sectarian battle. Nigeria is not an Islamic state, so whatever problem the Shiites and the Sunni Muslims might have, ought to not be the problem of Nigeria. So when you use state apparatus to destroy the lives and homes of these people, declare them an insurgent group and then ban them; what impression are you creating.

“The attack of December, 2015 did not result in the death of one military officer; innocent Nigerians were reportedly killed in that incident. You cannot use state apparatus to wage sectarian battle against a religious group. When the Boko Haram issue started, that was how it was poorly managed till today it has become a Nigerian problem,” Mr. Ogunye said.

Muslim Rights Concern blasts Kaduna government for labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned the Kaduna State Government for declaring the Shiite IMN an “insurgent group”.

The civic group described the action of the Kaduna State Government as “a very dangerous dimension.”

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Kaduna State Government in its White Paper released on Monday stated that “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government said it would prosecute the detained leader of the IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, for all the “other crimes” his group has committed in the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

In its statement on Tuesday signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, apart from condemning the Kaduna government, MURIC also cautioned the IMN on its past actions calling on members of the group “to do some self-assessment.”

Read MURIC’s full statement below.

Kaduna State Government yesterday declared the embattled Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) an insurgent group.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this new label for an otherwise pacific organization. The new declaration is nothing short of calling a dog a bad name in other to hang it. Kaduna State government is being economical with the truth, killing a fly with a sledge hammer and engaging in executive tyranny.

This is a very dangerous dimension. Coming shortly after a competent court of law ordered the release of the IMN leader, Shaykh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention, this stigmatization is just another attempt by the state government to jump the gun. The declaration is short in equity, long in injustice. But we must remember Martin Luther’s warning that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Kaduna government is pregnant with ingredients of all the five evils which Chamberlain spoke about, viz, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. Why is it that the only thing men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history? Kaduna has not learnt anything from the Boko Haram phenomenon. Kaduna has chosen to prove both Hegel and Karl Marx right in their postulate that history always repeats itself.

MURIC is however constrained to remind all stakeholders of the divine warning contained in Qur’an 8:25 “Fear a tumult which will affect those who caused it as well as the innocent ones”. Was this not how Boko Haram started? Police brutality and extra-judicial killing of the group’s leader caused its metamorphosis into a terror machine. But is it the police alone that are facing the consequences today?

MURIC calls on well-meaning Nigerians to speak out. It was the great Shaykh Uthman Bin Fudi (Uthman Dan Fodio) who said, “In an unjust society, silence is a crime…” Let us speak up now before it is too late.

But members of the IMN also need to do some self-assessment. Something must be wrong with a system against which so many neighbours testify. Several people (including Muslims) confirm that they had had bitter encounters with members of the IMN. They complain about the group’s open display of arrogance. All those people could not have been lying. Something must be wrong with a doctrine which embarrasses the rest of The Muslim Ummah and from which they dissociate themselves.

We commend the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for its efforts in resolving the IMN debacle and the maturity it has manifested in handling the matter. Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, NSCIA has engaged in quiet diplomatic shuttling between governments and the IMN from the beginning. We urge the NSCIA to continue the dialogue.

In conclusion, we appeal to the Kaduna State government to de-label IMN and begin a process of reconciliation and reorientation for its members. That is the path of visionary leadership and responsible governance. It is the path of peace. On its own part, IMN must improve its relationship with other Islamic organizations.

Anti-Zakzaky protesters storm high court

Protesters under the aegis of Coalition on Good Governance and Change Initiative (CGGCI) stormed the federal high court in Abuja on Monday.


The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with the order to free Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).


On Friday, Gabriel Kolawole, a judge of the court, ordered that he should be released within 45 days.


Zakzaky and some of his followers were arrested in December, following a clash involving the military.


Okpokwu Ogenyi, president of CGGCI, said the order given by the court to free Zakzaky was “legalising terrorism”.


“Judiciary has dealt a fresh blow to the future of Nigeria by legalising terrorism while leaving the rest of us at risk of losing our lives,” he said.


“In the space of one week, the judiciary has ordered dangerous fanatics and demagogues to be returned to the streets to resume brainwashing, radicalizing and militarising vulnerable youths in the population.


“This could have only been in keeping with fulfilling obligations entered into for less than honourable considerations even as we cannot rule out a judiciary that is taking its pound of flesh from an executive arm that has exposed the sleaze on its soiled bench.


“If the entire judiciary has activated its vendetta against the security agencies that they see as the executive arm, the precedence set by Justice Gabriel Kolawole took things to the ridiculous by awarding N50 million of tax payers’ money to finance IMN’s radicalisation programme while also asking that the police further deploy its personnel to protect a man whose sect members.


“This judge also failed to realise the weight of his utterance that  has basically ordered the government to build a new headquarters for a proscribed group – we do hope he will keep himself on the bench for when other terror groups approach to demand for the government to build them headquarters.”

Judicial commission of inquiry has exposed the ‘true nature’ and status of Shi’ites – GGI

The Good Governance Initiative (GGI) has described the release of Kaduna state government’s White Paper on the judicial commission of inquiry that investigated the clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army as a welcome development.


The group also said Nigerians never doubted the fact that the army acted within its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.


According to a statement signed by Uche John, coordinator of GGI, Nigerians will continue to support the army in its quest to protect the law abiding citizens from any form of aggressor.


He urged the federal government to act on recommendations against IMN, emphasising that anyone caught committing a crime under the guise of religion should be tried under the relevant anti-terror legislations.


The document, which was released on Monday, said the army acted within its rules of engagement.


“We laud the exoneration of the Nigerian Army, which was cleared of any wrongdoing as an institution and we see this as the removal of obstacles that terrorist sponsors had tried to place in the way of the army to reduce its ability to protect Nigerians,” he said in a statement.


“The White Paper has laid to rest the true nature and status of IMN as an insurgent group whose members bear arms and had refused to evacuate Gyallesu area of Zaria, Kaduna state ahead of the referenced military operation in the report.


“We hope that those that have been mounting propaganda on behalf of IMN would now accept the position stated in the document that the Nigerian army abided by its rules of engagement in dealing with the organisation.”


He further urged judicial officers to familiarise themselves with this document “especially since more IMN members could soon be charged to court over their role in the group’s decades of insurgency against the Nigerian state”.

BREAKING: Kaduna Government declares war on Shiite IMN, officially labels group ‘insurgent’

The Kaduna State Government has officially labelled the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, an insurgent group.


This is contained in a White Paper released by the state government on Monday in Kaduna.


“For all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such,” the government said n the white paper.


The government also said the detained Shiite leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, will be held responsible for all acts carried out by the group’s members.


“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky,” the white paper states. “He therefore bears responsibility for all the acts of lawlessness committed by the organisation and should therefore be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”


In the white paper, the state government also indicated it may not prosecute the soldiers involved in the killing of over 300 members of the IMN in December last year, but may leave their prosecution to the federal government.


Details later…

Why we declared Shi’ite group illegal – Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has said that he decided to declared the famous Shi’ites group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) an unlawful society because its activities was an insurgency waiting to happen.


Governor El Rufai who spoke to a select-group of journalists Monday, said that IMN leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky was not practicing the doctrine of Shi’ism but was gathering enough members in order to stage an Iranian-type Islamic revolution in Nigeria.


The governor clarified that he neither banned the Shiite sect nor Shi’ism in Kaduna state but merely invoked the powers conferred on him by the penal code which was enacted in 1963, to declare IMN an unlawful society.


According to El Rufai, the government only declared IMN illegal but there are two other Shi’ite sects that are carrying on with their activities freely in Kaduna state. He argued that it is wrong to equate only IMN with Shi’ism, adding that IMN is just one group that professes the doctrine but there are several others.


‘’There is also a misconception that IMN is the same thing as Shiites; it is only one sect out of many Shiite organizations. There is one Shiite group that is headquartered here in Kaduna, which is headed by Sheikh Hamza Lawal. He used to be with IMN but he left them when he realized that IMN is more interested in political struggles than religious development, ‘’ he said.


El Rufai said that Sheikh Hamza appeared before the Justice Lawal Garba Judicial Commission of Inquiry and gave evidence by saying that ‘’there is nothing in Shia doctrine that says that you should not recognize the government of your country.’’


He pointed out that the government cannot ban any religious organization or practice in the state but that the penal code gives him the powers to declare any organization as an unlawful society ‘’if it poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state.’’

‘’We concluded, after receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that looked into the clashes between IMN and the army, that IMN poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state,’’ he said, adding that ‘’we did not ban Shiism, we did not ban Shiites, we did not say that they can’t practice their religion.’’


Adducing more reasons why he declared IMN an unlawful society, the Governor said that the group ‘’does not recognize the constitution of Nigeria. They do not recognize Buhari as president. They do not recognize me as governor of Kaduna state, they had their own governor in Tudun Wada.’’


According to him, IMN have their own paramilitary personnel which they call ‘’Hurras’’ and they used to bear arms in violation of the Nigerian laws. ‘’And they do not accept that any law in Nigeria applies to them,’’ he further said.


The governor pointed out that ‘’because they do not recognize any law in Nigeria, IMN is not registered with Corporate Affairs Commission. So, they cannot be sued or held responsible for their actions. They build anywhere they find land, they do not even bother to apply for land titles.’’


El Rufai also said that IMN used to block public high ways and occupy schools during their processions. ‘’In the practice of their religion, they infringed on the rights of others and that is completely wrong in Islam.’’


‘’So, if you put all these together, you will realize that IMN was an insurgency that was waiting to happen. IMN was a political organization. The intention of El-Zakzaky was to gather enough followers to effect an Iranian-type revolution in Nigeria. Nigeria is not a 100% Muslim country that you can do that kind of revolution,’’ El-Rufai said.


In spite of the fact that IMN has been declared an unlawful organization, El-Rufai however said that it is wrong for citizens to take the law into their hands by attacking them.


He said that those who attacked some IMN members during the last Ashura celebrations have been apprehended and being prosecuted in court.

Lawyers petition US, UN, UK, Germany over IMN’s threat to peace in Nigeria.

A group of legal practitioners in the country under the aegis of Lawyers Initiative For Civil Rights Advancement in Nigeria have petitioned the United States Embassy in Nigeria alerting it of the imminent security threat posed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The letter, which was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, said the threat posed by the “radical Shiite movement” has several security implications not just for Nigeria, but other West African countries.

The petition was equally copied to the British High Commissioner, German Ambassador and the UN mission in Nigeria.

The letter, which was signed by the LICRAN Director of Research and Advocacy, Unande Tersagh, and made available to journalists, described the IMN as an Iranian-backed rebel group.

Tersagh, who described LICRAN as an umbrella body of pro-democracy lawyers dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, justice, equality and rule of law in Nigeria, said it is within public domain that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been harassing Nigeria using members of the IMN.

He said buoyed by Iran’s backing, IMN members in October and early November unleashed violence across several Nigerian cities in the North under the cover of the Ashura procession.

According to him, this led to several deaths in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna and Katsina States.

Tersagh said Nigerians were surprised that IMN propaganda machine used the widespread mayhem as an excuse to allege clampdown on Shiism in Nigeria contrary to the fact on ground.

He said it is on record that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have in previous years been named in illegal shipment of weapons that were deliberately mislabeled as other goods into Nigeria.

He stated further: “There have also been reports that the IMN members visit Iran under the cover of academic scholarships to be trained as terrorists by the same Revolutionary Guards Corps. This will be consistent with recent revelations by Salar Abnoush, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Khatam-al-Anbia Garrison, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards Corps that his country is sending out sleeper cell assets to infiltrate other nations.”

Tersagh urged the ambassador to prevail on the US Government to declare the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terror organization bearing in mind that their modus operandi is strikingly similar to that of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and ISIS.

The group added: “In the light of foregoing, we passionately appeal for peace and justice by calling on your good offices in collaboration with those of other members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to swiftly lend support to the Nigeria government in her bid to shut the door against all emerging and potential terrorist groups so as to strengthen the fragile peace that we are enjoying at the moment.”

IMN: Understanding Nigerians’ disdain for terrorism. – Ibekwe

These are certainly not the best of times for members of the Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria or the Nigerian Shiites. Their actions in the recent past have provoked very damning consequences for the sect members, much more as Nigerians are convinced of its links to the ISIS of Iran.


In the near 40 years history of its existence in Nigeria, the Shiites have steadily earned for themselves the reputation of violent extremists, destroyers and lawbreakers, whose impunity has extended to frequent violent attacks on security agents. In Shiites, Nigerians see a personification of brutality and the latest discovery of its hidden agenda to introduce another version of terrorism in Nigeria has compelled different segments of the Nigerian society to outrightly denounce and ex-communicate them.


By implication, the entire Nigerian state has risen against the IMN members, as other Muslims and communities do not wish to have anything to do with the Shiites. They are even rejected as neighbors to anyone, a stigma they are battling so hard to conceal.


The Nigerian Shiites have attracted this ignominy based on some of their unacceptable actions and inclination to violence. In December last year, the Shiites attacked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State. The IMN blocked his way and rejected all entreaties to have the road open for the Army boss to have a thoroughfare. The ensuing violent encounters led to deaths.


Similarly, earlier this month, the Shiites, again, under the leadership of Sheik Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki attacked the Nigerian police in Kano State for daring to stop their annual procession for this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek to Zaria, an event that mourns the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS). The Police, which had declared the procession illegal, attempted to stop them, but were met with stiff resistance, as the sect members, permanently armed, unleashed violence on the Police, leading to deaths and injuries to officers.


Thus, Nigerians cannot discern why the Shiites in Nigeria worship on streets/roads with long processions, instead of the mosque like other Muslims. And during such offensive processions, the sect members are usually armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, they deploy to use without provocation. The atrocities of IMN members have been manifold and following the recent calls by Shiek Koki for its members never to obey the laws of the land, has further alienated them from the clan of sane people and the Nigerian masses who have become increasingly repulsive of the Shiites with their violent versions of Islam.


Protests against the Nigerian Shiites have taken place variously in America, United Kingdom, and Malaysia and indeed, in other parts of the world denouncing Shiites whose penchant to violence and its frequent attacks on security agents has assumed a dangerous impunity.


For instance, Nigerians in the United States of America protested against the liberty extended to the Shiites by the FGN and sued for the prosecution of leader of the sect and the members. Operating under the aegis of Movement of the People of Nigeria, Cosmas Collins, the US Coordinator of the group, which staged a protest at United Nations Building and Nigeria House in New York frowned at the non-prosecution of El-Zakzaky.

Collins said: “Failure to prosecute these people, including El-Zakyzaky is making other groups think of coming out because it is now believed that it is fashionable to take on the state without consequences. The government must not also omit to consider bringing charges of subversion against members of the group for inviting Iranian intervention in Nigeria’s internal affairs. As a prelude to this, the government should investigate the finances of the group and its senior members to see if they have been beneficiary of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism.”


Back home in Nigeria, the Shiites are also rejected as no one is willing to associate or transact business with them. Saminaka, the headquarters of Lere in Kaduna State, recently demonstrated this aversion to the Shiites as both Christian and Muslim communities protested against the Shiites’ plan to erect a building in the community.


The Provincial Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Oludare Ojo, led the protests as he wrote to the Christian Association of Nigeria kicking against the location of a Shiites’ site near the church premises.


Ojo said: “They are not comfortable since it is located directly in front of the church.” The pastor feared that with the recent incidents of violence initiated by the group in the country, its proximity to the Church was a threat. While Christians are protesting Muslims too have joined in rejecting IMN sect members.


Muslim clerics in the area equally alerted the Sarkin Saminaka and security agencies of threats by members of the community to forcefully destroy the site of the Shiite building if allowed to be erected.


In Kano state, Shiites protests for the release of El-Zakzaky provoked residents who massively ganged up to chase them away. A coalition of civil society organizations have at different times lashed out at the Shiites, calling for their prosecution over acts of violence and treason.


The rejection of Shiites has become so pronounced that even their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, recently lamented: “When we were with other Muslims, they said they don’t want us and that is why we decided to build our centre here. The building is just an Islamic centre. We also have an Islamic school there in Saminaka. People who are against us, like the Izaila, those Muslims who go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia are the ones against us. We have a Certificate of Occupancy.”


The implication of this widespread rejection of the Shiites in Nigeria means their doctrines are detestable and they are no longer needed in a peaceful country like Nigeria. This has already been expressed in the IMN’s ban by the Kaduna State Government and its replication in Kano and other places in the North.


What their Iranian collaborators intends to achieve through the IMN has been discovered quite early and the Nigerian Shiites are free to relocate to the abodes of their paymasters in Iran. But what has remained certain is that Nigeria would never be anywhere near Syria and Iran where the ISIS have found as a fertile ground to destabilize through their noxious campaigns of religion. Nigerians would not overlook their garments of terrorism.


– Ibekwe, a civil rights activist contributed this piece from 5, New Haven Avenue, Enugu, Enugu State.

Kaduna State declares Zakzaky’s IMN an unlawful society.

The Kaduna State Government, on Wednesday, officially released the Gazette on Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), declaring the group unlawful.

The government disclosed that it did not and cannot ban any religion, but that it has a duty to declare unlawful any group that threatens the peace and security of the state.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said government upholds religious freedoms
and all constitutional rights of every resident to practice the religion of their choice.

He noted that it was the fundamental obligation of government to preserve security and uphold the rights of all citizens to practice their faith and not be imperiled or be distressed by the way others exercise their faith.

It would be recalled that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry chaired by Justice Muhammed Lawal Garba, along Prof. Auwalu Yadudu,Special Adviser on Legal matters under late Gen.Sani Abacha, Prof.Ibrahim
Gambari,former minister of Foreign Affairs, Afakriya Gadzama,former Director General State Security Service among others recommended the
proscription of IMN.

Aruwan stressed, “It solemnly declared unlawful a specific group that continues to threaten public order in the state. The IMN was never a registered organization and it refused to conduct itself with
full adherence to the laws of this state.”

He added that IMN ignored the law and neglected the obligations of civility.

According to him, “Other groups in the Shi’ite tradition are active in Nigeria. Like adherents of all other faiths, they are free to practice their creed without injuring the rights of others.

“Kaduna state has suffered and endured too many calamities, triggered by persons and groups that insist on foisting their faith or political
preferences on others. It is a hallmark of civilization that every assertion of rights by a citizen is done with full acknowledgement of, and respect for the rights of other citizens.”

Speaking on the released of the gazette, Aruwan said, “Kaduna State Gazette No.21 of 7th October 2016 has declared the IMN an unlawful

The Gazette noted, “The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clashes between the group with the appellation, Islamic Movement in Nigenria, IMN, and the Nigerian Army in Zaria between Saturday 12th and Monday 14th December 2015,found as facts inter alia that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is an unregistered society and recommended that immediate steps be taken by the Kaduna State Government to proscribe it.

“The members of the movement have over the years engaged in acts of aggression and violence against individuals and communities resulting in clashes with security agencies which culminated in the recent deaths of at least 347 persons.

“The movement has constituted itself into a parallel government with a uniformed paramilitary wing in complete disregard to the constitution and laws of Nigeria.

“The movement has overtly continued with unlawful processions, obstruction of public highways, unauthorized occupation of public facilities including schools without regard to the rights of other citizens and public peace and order of the state.”

Aruwan added, “Gentlemen of the press, these are the facts. There is a common law in Nigeria, and it serves to protect everyone. The law courts are the appropriate platform for any citizen to challenge any legislation or order they consider improper. No citizen or group of persons can decide to disobey a valid law, without expecting that law
enforcement will do its work.

“We have warned that mob action will not be permitted under any guise.The duty of every citizen is to report every illegal action or suspicious activity to the security agencies.”