By Richards Murphy
The Islamic movement in Nigeria (IMN) seems to be in the news again with its release of names of its members that were supposedly killed when they confronted security agencies in Abuja and its environs recently. I am somewhat at a loss as for how to describe this recent posturing. So much so that I am tempted to ask, just like the majority of Nigerians, the real motives behind the IMN.
I also recall that Abdullahi Zango, one of its leaders stated during a press conference that “If we have weapons with us, Nigeria army is too small to face us. With our courage and brevity, with empty hands, they are running away from us talk less of when we have arms.” When this statement is critically analysed, it gives a peep into the minds of the adherents of the IMN and how that have constituted themselves into a state within a state. It is also indeed curious as to how such statements can be made when multiples sources have indeed confirmed that the IMN adherents indeed engaged the military with arms and other dangerous weapons.
And now, they have taken the propaganda to an astronomical level by releasing a fictitious list of people killed in the melee that ensued. But they failed woefully in stating their intent when they attacked troops of the Army Headquarters Garrison on official duty escorting ammunitions and missiles from Abuja to Army Central Ammunition Depot in Kaduna State. As a fact, when the troops’ convoy attempted to clear the roadblock, they met stiff opposition from the IMN members who used various objects to barricade the road and also pelted the troops with stones and other dangerous items. They smashed both military and civilian vehicles’ windscreens and windows.
For the IMN, when they go about town causing untold hardship and inflicting injuries on innocent Nigerians going about their daily activities, it is normal, when they also attack security agencies with dangerous objects and in some instances killing security agents, it is also normal. I recall that sometime in June 2018 in Kaduna State, when their leader was meant to appear before the Federal High Court in Kaduna state, the IMN members openly confronted police officers deployed to ensure peace and in the process, a police inspector was killed. They smashed his head continually with stones and other dangerous weapons until he died. Many others sustained injuries from the hands of the IMN adherents on that day. Is this normal?
I also recall that that scores of IMN members were arrested with dangerous weapons with which the planned to wreak havoc. As a fact, it is well known in Zaria and its environs that the IMN is a violent organization that disdained that police and other security agencies. This much they had exhibited when the attacked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff sometime in 2015. In the report released by the National Human Rights Commission Special Investigation Panel, it stated that the right of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai was violated by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
When the report was made public, scores of individuals came out to state how they have been living in fear and terror imposed on them by the IMN. This much was corroborated by some well-known Islamic scholars from the north, who stated that the IMN remained a security threat to the country. The scholars also noted that the sect had manipulated the Holy Quran to suit themselves. Also, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mahdi, stated that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiite, poses a severe threat to the security and sovereignty of Nigeria. He also declared that Iran, which according to him, is the sponsor of Shiite, is the “Nigeria’s number one enemy. Testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry investigating the December 12-14, 2015 clashes between the movement and the Nigerian army in Zaria, he stated that the IMN thrives on violence, that the group operates a state within a state.
Giving further details about how the IMN operates, Mahdi said: “Generally they operate in cells, in complete secrecy, the cells are spread across many parts of the country, especially in Northern Nigeria. “There is a kind of Central Working Committee which frequently meets under the leadership of El-Zakzaky. At the state level, each state has a governor and a secretariat. At the central and the state levels, they have committees such as education, finance, recruitment, and logistics. They have well-organized training programmes, especially for the training of cadets and different categories of the militia.
“Shiite propaganda gave the youths false hope regarding their future that the emergence of an alternative government in Nigeria was imminent- a Shiite government under the control of Zakzaky.” He added that the activities of Shiite have serious security threat to the stability and integrity of Nigeria. They constitute a security threat to all communities they are found.
This is a group that said it is non-violent. This is also a group that goes around town peddling false rumours in the most despicable manner by releasing a fictitious list of people killed in an attempt to gain public sympathy. But the irony is that this gimmick does not fool Nigerians. They want the world to believe that they are indeed victims of the state, while in truth, the state is the victim of their nefarious activities.
I can go on non-stop on this group that has vowed to overrun the military in a day. On the same group that has continued to push through their activities for the disintegration of Nigeria. When you don’t respect the rights of others, you subject others to many forms of human rights violations because they don’t belong to your sect, and you expect that others should have regards for you? He who goes to equity must go with clean hands.
They must respect the rights of other Nigerians. Nigeria is a sovereign country regardless of what their sponsors Iran have made them believe. This is just common-sense. If you don’t want others to live in peace, don’t expect to live in peace also. It is tit for tat. And I know for a fact that IMN is just an instrument for destabilization. Their antics would and cannot stand the test of time because Nigerians are enlightened and abreast of their activities. This propaganda would not work.
Murphy a security expert wrote from Calabar, Cross River State.