Muslim Rights Concern blasts Kaduna government for labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

shiite-women-protesting-in-kaduna

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned the Kaduna State Government for declaring the Shiite IMN an “insurgent group”.

The civic group described the action of the Kaduna State Government as “a very dangerous dimension.”

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Kaduna State Government in its White Paper released on Monday stated that “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government said it would prosecute the detained leader of the IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, for all the “other crimes” his group has committed in the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

In its statement on Tuesday signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, apart from condemning the Kaduna government, MURIC also cautioned the IMN on its past actions calling on members of the group “to do some self-assessment.”

Read MURIC’s full statement below.

Kaduna State Government yesterday declared the embattled Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) an insurgent group.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this new label for an otherwise pacific organization. The new declaration is nothing short of calling a dog a bad name in other to hang it. Kaduna State government is being economical with the truth, killing a fly with a sledge hammer and engaging in executive tyranny.

This is a very dangerous dimension. Coming shortly after a competent court of law ordered the release of the IMN leader, Shaykh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention, this stigmatization is just another attempt by the state government to jump the gun. The declaration is short in equity, long in injustice. But we must remember Martin Luther’s warning that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Kaduna government is pregnant with ingredients of all the five evils which Chamberlain spoke about, viz, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. Why is it that the only thing men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history? Kaduna has not learnt anything from the Boko Haram phenomenon. Kaduna has chosen to prove both Hegel and Karl Marx right in their postulate that history always repeats itself.

MURIC is however constrained to remind all stakeholders of the divine warning contained in Qur’an 8:25 “Fear a tumult which will affect those who caused it as well as the innocent ones”. Was this not how Boko Haram started? Police brutality and extra-judicial killing of the group’s leader caused its metamorphosis into a terror machine. But is it the police alone that are facing the consequences today?

MURIC calls on well-meaning Nigerians to speak out. It was the great Shaykh Uthman Bin Fudi (Uthman Dan Fodio) who said, “In an unjust society, silence is a crime…” Let us speak up now before it is too late.

But members of the IMN also need to do some self-assessment. Something must be wrong with a system against which so many neighbours testify. Several people (including Muslims) confirm that they had had bitter encounters with members of the IMN. They complain about the group’s open display of arrogance. All those people could not have been lying. Something must be wrong with a doctrine which embarrasses the rest of The Muslim Ummah and from which they dissociate themselves.

We commend the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for its efforts in resolving the IMN debacle and the maturity it has manifested in handling the matter. Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, NSCIA has engaged in quiet diplomatic shuttling between governments and the IMN from the beginning. We urge the NSCIA to continue the dialogue.

In conclusion, we appeal to the Kaduna State government to de-label IMN and begin a process of reconciliation and reorientation for its members. That is the path of visionary leadership and responsible governance. It is the path of peace. On its own part, IMN must improve its relationship with other Islamic organizations.


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  • Fatai Fehintola

    This statement by MURIC is thoughtful, timely and purposeful, I pray God gives all the deepest understanding and courage to be fair, just and equitable. I hope other organizations and individuals will take a cue from MURIC (and ?SERAP) and act appropriately!

  • thusspokez

    The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned the Kaduna State Government for declaring the Shiite IMN an “insurgent group”

    Nigerian Shiites are not insurgent group but they will become one soon if their grievances are not addressed by the nation. And then Northern Nigeria will become a battleground for proxy war between the usual suspects, namely Iran and Saudi Arabia. The involvement of these foreign countries will make boko haram’s mayhem a child’s play. It will be prolonged and cause a wider and long-lasting division between communities in the North.

    The Nigerian people and their leaders never learn from past mistakes. They did nothing when warned about the ‘infant’ boko haram. It is also shameful that most Nigerians — not untypically short-sighted — look away or belittle the Shiite grievances and protests. Give and take 5 years, the problem will escalate and affect all Nigerians directly or indirectly.

    Why then is neither Buhari nor the NASS or both working hard towards settling the dispute now, rather than — I would imagine — waiting to firefight it when it is too late?

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Buhari would probably do worse than the pygmy governor in exterminating Shiites were he to be governor of Kaduna state. The present regime is made of fundamentalist zealots from the Sharia north.

      • thusspokez

        Shiites are not confined to only one state but are in many states, hence their grievances becomes a national issue and therefore beyond the executive powers of a state governor. This is why it is necessary that the Buhari government and the NA step up and step in.

        • Gary

          Why are you talking like the persecution of the Shiites is the handiwork of the Kaduna Pygmy alone?

          El-Rufai is only the point man of a bigoted policy from inside Aso Rock to exterminate the Shiites.

          Since the Zaria Massacre, the Shiites have been set upon and killed during processions by the NIGERIA POLICE in Kano, Katsina and even Plateau States. Right under the nose of Mr. President and his security chiefs. What further evidence does anyone need to see what’s going on in the North?

          • thusspokez

            Why are you talking like the persecution of the Shiites is the handiwork of the Kaduna Pygmy alone?

            Is this your understanding of my comment? Show me where I had alluded to this.

  • El Rufai already declared preaching by Christians in kaduna without his authorization illegal. In due time he’ll declare Christians as insurgents after inevitable protests and uprisings. El Rufai has declared war on Freedom of Association and Religion. El Rufai must be recalled and removed from office. This man is a threat to our democratic dispensation.

  • Otile

    Buhari is incompetent indeed. What is he waiting in dowsing the conflagration before it consumes Northern Nigeria? This man is a tragedy of epic proportion.

    • Otile

      What is he waiting for?

  • vay

    El ruffian is everything called deranged, deluded person. Very very incompetent

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    It unfortunate that a lawless pygmy Sunni Islamic fundamentalist was elected to govern Kaduna state . The issue of the Shiites is a godsent expose on the inner workings of the northern Nigerian Sunni Islamic establishment which have been majorly responsible for stoking up violent extremism in the region and exporting it to West Africa while they pretend before the USA and UK whom they desperately want to recruit as “unwitting” political sponsors !!

  • Otile

    Nigerian Shiite community should stop going to hajj in Makkah el Medinat. They should discover the holy sites at Mogadishu and Bilboa. The Sunnis are taking the Shiites for a ride.