Shiites clashes: their’s and our reality

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    -Shiites clashes: their’s and our reality

    YBTC NEWS-One would think that having tried on several occasions to voice out their plight for a long while and finally being granted audience to do so on a national radio station, the Islamic movement in Nigeria (IMN) would do away with any violent approach until all legal means are exhausted, which on this note considering the facts they allegedly said they possess would have helped their case.

    However, their reality is such that, they say one thing and act oppositely or at least it often appears to be so.

    On the 22nd of July, 2019 the IMN was granted the audience by “ordinary president, Ahmed ” on his daily live broadcast on human Rights radio making it the first Media platform availed to the group to present their case.

    But low and behold, despite evoking the sympathy of listeners and Nigerians who began viewing things from another perspective rather than the one created overtime by reports concerning the group, the IMN popularly referred to as the ‘Shiites’ took to the streets in Abuja, violently destroying public property and engaging security personnel in a clash which resulted in the death of the deputy commissioner of police, FCT command Usman Umar and a national youth corp member, Precious Owolabi leaving several others injured.

    From what they refer to as peaceful processions, to violent attacks, deaths, and destructions, the Islamic movement in Nigeria has become quite popular in the negative for a public disturbance with resultant violence over time.

    In a media interview on channels television dated 21st April 2017, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai referred to the outlawed group -IMN as a group which owed its allegiance to another country and as such have never respected any constituted authority. In his argument, he said ” Shiites are citizens of Nigeria, they are entitled to practice their religion… They are a religious sect of Islam… Those protesting are not necessarily Shiites, they are members of El-Zakzaky’s movement…some are Shiites and some are not”.
    According to him, two other known Shiite groups don’t protest, they don’t block highways, and they respect and obey constituted laws and authority.

    Also, Read Abuja Police Shiite Clash: Police, Shiite Spoke

    It can be recalled that in 2014, the leader of the IMN lost 3 of his sons and a number of his disciples in a raid by the Nigerian army after a pro-Palestinian procession in Zaria. Also subsequently in 2015, the Sheik lost another 3 of his children as well as hundreds of his followers to another raid by the Nigerian army after which he and his wife Zeenah were taken into protective custody as declared by the Department of State Security (DSS).

    This on the other hand according to a judgement passed by Justice Gabriel Kolawole on the 2nd of December 2016, read, that taking a person into protective custody is alien to the Nigerian constitution and as such Ibrahim Zakzaky should be released under 45days and be compensated for the infringement on his fundamental human Rights (FHR).

    All these tribulations faced by the group as disheartening as it may seem could have a favorable turnout if only they are willing to adopt another peaceful means to drive home their points.

    However, it is important to note that Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky had been considered a threat to the nation owing to his close association with Iran where he holds a strong bond with its Shiite community and his aim of creating an Islamic state in Nigeria as well as his inciteful preachings right from his university days in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as the deputy leader of the Muslim students’ society.

    At a particular time in a report by Justice, Anthony Aniagolu dated 14th April 1981 Ibrahim Zakzaky was declared to possess a trait similar to the maytansine incarnate which promoted religious extremism and violence at that time before metamorphosizing into a terrorist sect now.

    On different occasions, the IMN has refuted claims of erupting violence during their ” free Zakzaky movement ” in the state capital, Abuja. Apportioning blame on security personnel of being the first to shoot at them thereby erupting the violence. This has caused other Shiite members from Iran, the United Kingdom, Canada & India to conduct protests in support of the movement in Nigeria.

    The question of our reality is not for who started the violence? But ” for how long are we going to hide under the blame factor while the country faces the threat of producing another deadly aggrieved sect? Or are we to become spectators of resultant violence anxiously awaiting who to blame for the next crisis or what makes the next headline?

    However, the Enacting of religious laws that regulates religious preachings by the Kaduna state government is not the only option but at least it’s a start to avoid creating religious sentiments.

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