A source within Nigeria’s Presidency has told The DEFENDER that there is confirmation of a Court’s proscription of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites sect, as a terrorist organisation.
The Shiites group has long and recent history of violence making members of Islamic faith in the country subject of stigma.
Some of its negative activities include blocking of major roads leading to violence that left many of its members, security and innocent Nigerians killed during the era of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Its excesses and extreme practices peaked in 2015 with blocking of road in Zaria, Kaduna State against the Chief of Army Staff and carrying out violent attacks, wounding soldiers on his convoy thereby causing the military resistance that left many dead.
Effort by government, both of Federal and Kaduna State at that time, led to immediate arrest of leader of the group, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Many observers of events since that arrest of El-Zakzaky have expressed concerns seeing situation where legal and media practitioners, hide under human rights claims, to condemn and secure series of court order for the release of El-Zakzaky thereby teaming up with the Shiites group inciting image crisis against particularly the Federal Government.
As a result of this effort of the professionals, Shiites’ tendency for violence jacked up to now attacking the nation’s democracy as they did with attacks on National Assembly, killing police officers and destroying vehicles of innocent Nigerians and other properties.
Under one week from the National Assembly attacks, the Shiites still claiming to be protesting continued detention of their leader, El-Zakzaky, staged fresh attacks in streets of Abuja during which time they they shot and killed Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Operations, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Alhaji Usman Umar and a corper reporter working for Channels Television penultimate Monday.
None of lawyers and journalists backing the Shiites has however been able to justify their his criticism of government in solidarity with them.
The Federal Government was reported to have secured a court pronouncement declaring and proscribing the Shiites group as a terrorist organisation.
In trying to get the Presidency to comment on the latest development, a Presidency source earlier contacted denied knowledge of such court order. Another Presidency source, believed to be acting on update not earlier available to the apex contact, confirmed that he has confirmation of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s proscription.
In a text message replying The DEFENDER, the Presidrncy source said:”We have confirmation that that a judge has given the proscription order in line with a request by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“The federal government sought the order in view of the responsibility imposed on it by the constitution, making the protection of life and property as the number one duty of a government.
“Under the law, the exercise of the individual right is limited by the collective rights of the entire society.
“The proscription is warranted by the violent dimensions of the activities of the IMN, leading to losses of civilian lives and the lives of military and police personnel.
“By this order, the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are justified to take whatever steps necessary to stop the growing violence.
“However, the larger body of the followers of the Shiite faith who remain law abiding in their activities have nothing to fear. They free to carry out their lawful religious activities.”