Shiites allege plot by FG to label group terrorist

Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria.<br />AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP

The Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), yesterday, alleged the Federal Government was planning to brand it a terrorist group.

“There appears to be some renewed efforts by the government and its agencies to indelibly label the Movement violent and terrorist and nail the coffin once and for all,” said the group. 

“Rather than beat about the bush, toying with ideas of how to link innocent people with violence and further shed innocent blood, the government should immediately free our leader whose health is deteriorating by the day, and his wife,” it noted.

IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said the alleged plot was designed to scare the group’s supporters, as the Free El-Zakzaky campaign continued to gain momentum.

He said the Movement would not stop protesting the detention of its leader and his wife and would not be intimidated.

“Recently, the Attorney General gave an indication that proved some sinister motives were behind the refusal to obey court judgment. He hid under the cover of what he termed ‘public interest’ as against the ‘protective custody’ initially used.

“The bait, here, is to initiate some very alarming disruption of public peace in the name of the Islamic Movement to reach their goal. This evil design of disruption of peace in our name is plotted to be of a magnitude as to sufficiently frighten the public and make them want to avoid us like a plague. This will swing public opinion against us and make them go for our jugular, especially the law courts,” he said.

He decried the “two-faced machination of security agents who pretend they are working to enforce peace and security while, in fact, they mean evil.”

He said: “We want to unequivocally state, for the umpteenth time, that the use of violence is never in our character. Our leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, has categorically said, times without number, that we are out to save lives and not to destroy them. He said anytime you hear 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 Free El-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 in the past two years.

“For some times, now, we have been staging peaceful protest marches in Abuja, to press home our demand for the freedom of our leader, his wife, and several others in detention, since the Zaria massacre of December 2015. We have not for once resorted to the use of terror tactics. This is not about to change.”

Musa added: “We, therefore, reject any form of violence or use of terror tactics in our name.



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