Intelligence firm cautions Nigeria on handling of Shiite crisis

Shitte

The unfolding confrontation between security agencies and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria could evolve into a full-blown sectarian unrest if not urgently addressed, an intelligence firm warned Friday.

SBM Intelligence, a strategic intelligence analysis provider, said the brewing crisis “represents a threat to a society barely back on its feet from the recurring hits it has taken from the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency.”

The warning came amid nationwide apprehension over frequent clashes between the IMN members on one hand and the police and hoodlums on the other in a few states across northern Nigeria.

The chaos is directly blamed on the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, as the fallout of his October 7 proscription order against the Shiites in his state.

Mr. El-Rufai’s proclamation was welcomed in other northern states such as Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and Plateau where similar measures were put in place.

Reports from the states said some hoodlums had taken the law into their hands and are now actively marking down the Shiites for attacks.

Mr. El-Rufai and other governors havecondemned the violence and warned of grave consequences for anyone suspected in extrajudicial attacks on IMN members.

SBM Intelligence warned in August that Nigerian security agencies were already overstretched and military personnel could be found in 30 of the 36 Nigerian states.

In its latest observation, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES in an email, the organisation said Nigeria’s history is replete with similar occurrences in the past and warned Nigerian leaders to exercise caution so as to avoid a repetition.

“In dealing with the unfolding Shiite crisis, we are going down a well-worn path, but with a twist,” SBM Intelligence said.

“When this is situated within the context of the latent threat of a Boko Haram resurgence; the escalating situation in the Middle Belt; the continuing militant activity in the Niger Delta; the IPOB/Biafra movements which though not in open conflict, could be ignited if not handled appropriately; the current handling of the Shia crisis with force across such a vast space could be problematic, and could potentially overstretch the army so much that they are unable to contain the threat.”

SBM Intelligence said banning the Shiite’s IMN contradicted the Nigerian constitution which guarantees the fundamental rights of citizens; and could spark a crisis that would be difficult to contain.

”Any similar crisis with the Shiite would not be a straightforward battle, because unlike Boko Haram which depends on a largely illiterate fellowship, they are a lot more sophisticated.

“Within their ranks, the Shiites boast of well-educated intellectuals who are embedded within the Nigerian state and spread across the country. The threat is one of a reported two million strong coordinated group with a robust foreign backing, in Iran.

“The consequence of engaging this group like earlier done with Boko Haram would be far-reaching, devastating and possibly apocalyptic,” the firm said.

There are also possibilities that the actions taken by Mr. El-Rufai and other northern governors were in furtherance of a discrete agenda being pushed by Saudi Arabia, a predominantly Sunni Islam country, SBM Intelligence said.

“We must realise that it is unwise to drag Nigeria into becoming a proxy site for the battle between Wahabism on the one hand and Shiism on the other.

“The actual powers in the Middle East that are the sources of this conflict, Saudi Arabia and Iran, wisely keep the battles away from their own territory and fight in other people’s countries.

“They are unrestrained in causing untold destruction and devastation since these proxy battlefields aren’t their own homes, an attitude that can be seen in how they have behaved in places like Yemen.

“They will be even less concerned about destruction in a far-away African country, so long as their proxy battle continues. We must wisely eschew this,” SBM Intelligence said.


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  • dhepo

    I hope the Wahabis running the Nigerian government take heed to this warning and not be blind to reason. There must be other ways of curbing this threat before it escalates. This is how BH started using excessive force and extrajudicial killings to silence the leader which resulted in the group being taken over by usually violent Sunnis (Wahabbis). Fact is that Nigeria cannot afford another internal Islamic war!!

    • Burbank

      If Jonathan had been effective, Boko Haram would not have become a monster and the Shiites would not has been so daring as to stop a COAS’s convoy.

      But then, Jonathan, like PDP boss Ali Modu Sheriff, is a Wahabi, just like Alhaji Dokubo Asari.

      • Shehu Monguno

        What has GEJ and Boko Haram got to do with this discussion? Nigerians must learn to face the issue reason why we fail exams

        • Burbank

          If GEJ had tackled Boko Haram and the Shiites effectively, Shekau’s menace would have wiped out been a long time ago and Zakzaky will not be brazen and bold to force PDP Kaduna governor Dr. Muktar Ramadan Yero,to get out of his convoy and walk to a friend’s funeral!

          Nigerians must learn to face the issue reason why we fail exams

          • rufus qanashie

            we know very well that the sunni wahhabis followers of saudi arebia are the troublesome ones who fund isis,bokoharam n alqaeeda n the rest n yet u have the gods to tell us the shiite are the violent ones,,pls spare me,,the sunnis who killed 100s of christains in the the north n form bokoharam are the terrorist…afteral not only shia block roads…

          • Burbank

            “ A former governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Muktar Ramadan Yero, who had gone to pay a condolence visit to a bereaved family friend, was denied entry to Gyaellsu by Zakzaky’s Shia followers.”
            www vanguardngr com/2016/01/shiite-army-clash-what-nba-fact-finding-revealed/

            What would “sunni wahhabis” Putin do if someone force him to get off his car and walk?
            He would do what he did best – artillery bombardment of the entire city, like Chenchya.

            How many died in the Niger Delta when “sunni wahhabis” Asari and “sunni wahhabis” Ateke Tom were fighting for “resource control?”

            How many died when “sunni wahhabis” Tompolo slaughtered Itsekiris and “sunni wahhabis” John Togo wiped out rival militants for “resource control” in Delta State?
            Thousands of Niger Delta youth!

            www hr .org/legacy/backgrounder/africa/nigeria0205/1.htm

      • dhepo

        Jonathan a Wahabis? Please let’s be serious and besides we are talking about curbing the Shiites in a constructive and decisive way.

        • Gary

          Why do the Shiites need curbing? How have they threatened the Nigerian state? By holding processions as demanded of their faith…just like some Christians do on Palm Sunday or Good Friday?

          When was a section of the North, the Sharia States, declared a de facto Sunni Republic?

          • dhepo

            The way the government is reacting to them may lead to conflagration if care is not taken. And you know that majority Nigerian government is Sunni and backed by Saudi Arabia hence they hold the Shiites backed by Iran in disdain its an age long intra Islamic conflict which you know. The government should be careful in handling this issue thats my point.

          • Burbank

            If the government is NOT decisive, Zakzaky’s Shiites will turn Nigeria into a Lebanon or a Yemen.

          • Burbank

            Nobody needs to be curbed if they are law-abiding.

            “They determined when residents would go in and out
            of their houses under the guise of protecting them. They also decided
            non-residents who could go in and outof the area.” A former governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Muktar Ramadan Yero, who had gone to pay a condolence visit to a bereaved family friend, was denied entry to Gyaellsu by Zakzaky’s followers. Sometime in 2014, the commandant, Depot Nigerian Army had ordered his convoy to drive through the crowd. This led to a showdown. The Emir and his entourage also had a narrow escape …the palace spokesperson who stepped out of his car had his turban pushed off with an arrow poked on his head. An attempt was made to forcefully open the outer tank cover of the Emir’s car, withan intention to set it ablaze.”

            www vanguardngr com/2016/01/shiite-army-clash-what-nba-fact-finding-revealed/

        • Burbank

          May 16, 2014, the PDP governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Alhaji Ramalan Yero, was forced to disembark from his convoy and humiliated to walk to an associate’s residence because he was prevented by Zakzaky’s Shiites supporters.

          “They determined when residents would go in and out of their houses under the guise of protecting them. They also decided non-residents who could go in and outof the area.” A former governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Muktar Ramadan Yero, who had gone to pay a condolence visit to a bereaved family friend, was denied entry to Gyaellsu by Zakzaky’s followers. Sometime in 2014, the commandant, Depot Nigerian Army had ordered his
          convoy to drive through the crowd. This led to a showdown. The Emir and his entourage also had a narrow escape …the palace spokesperson who stepped out of his car had his turban pushed off with an arrow poked on his head. An attempt was made to forcefully open the outer tank cover of the Emir’s car, withan intention to set it ablaze.”

          www vanguardngr com/2016/01/shiite-army-clash-what-nba-fact-finding-revealed/

  • Burbank

    In that case, the armies of the US and Israel better submits to the Shiites of Iran.