A group known as the Citizens Action for Change, CAC, has described the reported police order for the arrest of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) leaders across the country as a welcome development.
Reports had it over the weekend that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the dismantling of any terror infrastructure traced to the group.
IGP Adamu, in a signal to the operatives dated August 30, 2019, had said the Force would not allow the Shi’ite members to violate the proscription of the IMN by the court.
He blamed the violent protest by the group on July 22 for the killing of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Umar Usman, and a youth corps member, Precious Owolabi.
Reacting to the development, CAC urged the relevant authorities to extend the same treatment to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its members, not only in Nigeria but also abroad.
In a statement signed by its President, Ayokunle Bakare, the group also urged the Nigeria Police Force to ignore the propaganda from IMN and focus on the job of providing security for Nigerians.
The statement reads: “We understand that this directive rides on the proscription of IMN as a terrorist organization having been so gazetted by the Federal Government as a logical follow-up to a court order.
“The IGP’s directive is a welcome development considering the harrowing experience that members of this proscribed group have put Nigerians through, particularly in Abuja and other cities where its members have unleashed violent protests against the country under the guise of fighting for the release of its leader, Sheik Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.
We cannot forget too soon how a Deputy Commissioner of Police, a journalist and other Nigerians lost their lives to the murderous activities of this group.
“We are mindful of the recent revelation that IMN and its leader, el-Zakzaky, are running a campaign on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran to destroy Nigeria.
Events since 2014 have continually validated this accusation, including the charade of el-Zakzaky seeking medical treatment abroad and his hurried return from India when he discovered that his Iranian handlers were in no position to help him jump bail.
“We have seen the tepid response from IMN’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, which tried to make light of a severe situation by making claims to suggest that the IGP’s directive were motivated by sectarian partiality.
This claim is irresponsible to say the list. It attempts to trivialize the grievous crimes that IMN has committed against Nigeria as a corporate, sovereign state.
“A key point to be made is that when it is comes to securing the lives of Nigerians, sectarianism has no place. Citizens Action for Change (CAC) is apolitical and secular so IMN cannot impugn sectarian interest to our intervention.
We are therefore not interested in the brand of worship adopted by IMN members because our focus is their persistent rejection of the Nigerian state and the acts of terror they have pursued in the course of trying to force others to accept their own views of religions.
“We also want to place a disclaimer that IMN and Musa, its spokesperson, have no right raising the alarm that the government will use its “office to brutally kill, maim and imprison thousands of innocent Nigerians, simply because of their faith at such a difficult time being experienced by Nigerians.”
It is the height of hypocrisy for an organization whose members do identify as Nigerians is worried about what will befall Nigerians when the police fully implement the IGP’s order.
It is the best description of confusion for someone to worry about a people it does not recognize as having the right to exist because that is the IMN mindset.
It is ridiculous that IMN made a poor attempt creating the impression that IMN members are being persecuted for their Shiite orientation when in reality there are many other Shiites who do not belong to the outlawed terrorist group and such people have demonstrated that there is nothing to fear on the part of those that do not belong to IMN’s terrorist network.
“It is surprising that IMN is still deluded to think that Nigerians are not aware of the places where it has cells that are being activated to cause problems for Nigeria.
Its spokesperson, Musa, thinks that incessant kidnappings, attacks by bandits and terror attacks in most parts of the North are the more pressing problems that Nigeria should address. We are waiting for when IMN will be bold enough to explain how it has been raising money through the aforementioned crimes.
The thousands of youths it pours onto the streets of Abuja remain so jobless by day time but rob at night to make up for not engaging in productive work during the working hours.
“The lie about attacks being ordered against their interests during the first Islamic month of Muharram represents a new level of irresponsibility.
Are they suggesting that the rest of Nigerians should keep quiet while their country is destroyed under the guise of some miscreants celebrating Muharram?
IMN members must do some introspection and ask themselves what happened when last year and the preceding year when attempted their disruptive march and citizens of various states and cities were forced to resort to self help to curtail IMN.
“If the terrorist organization, which has now been proscribed, ventures a repeat of last year we are worried that they will meet stiffer resistance on the streets of our cities than they met the last time. At that point they will be grateful to be arrested by the police because they will face the full wrath of Nigerians.
“Our candid words of advice for IMN and their leaders is that they will make more sense if they willingly submit themselves to the relevant authorities so that they can be tried for whatever crime they are complicit of.
“Therefore, the only time IMN members should have the courage to gather in group is when congregate to jointly surrender the weapons in their custody and to give themselves up of for rehabilitation.
If they think that the propaganda they have rolled out since the IGP first gave the directive will dissuade Nigerians from asking that they be dealt with in accordance with the law then they should think again.
Allowing them to get away with such brigandage means that the country will have to extend the same treatment to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its members, not only in Nigeria but also abroad.
“We urge the Nigeria Police Force to ignore the propaganda from IMN and focus on the job of providing security for Nigerians. Anyone that runs foul of the law should be made to answer for it so the threat of continue to protest for the release of el-Zakzaky is not the one that a proscribed IMN can undertake.”