The Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has accused the Federal Government of a sinister plot to label it as a terrorist group.
“There appears to be some renewed efforts by the government and its agencies to indelibly label the Movement violent and terrorist and nail the coffin once and for all,” said the group in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa.
How the federal government intends to set this in motion, according to the Shiites:
- The government intends to initiate some very alarming disruption of public peace in the name of the Islamic Movement such that members of the public would turn against the group. “This evil design of disruption of peace in our name is plotted to be of a magnitude as to sufficiently frighten the public and make them want to avoid us like a plague. This will swing public opinion against us and make them go for our jugular, especially the law courts.”
- The group described Nigerian security agents as “two-faced” people “who pretend they are working to enforce peace and security while, in fact, they mean evil.”
To prevent the alleged plot from taking effect, the group has decided to adopt a preemptive tactic by dissociating itself and members from any form of violence.
“We want to unequivocally state… that the use of violence is never in our character. Our leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, has categorically said… that we are out to save lives and not to destroy them. Anytime you hear a shot and it is said to be coming from our direction, you should know that it is fake news, as we do not use weapons or violent tactics to achieve our goals.
“This has been clearly demonstrated in the Free El-Zakzaky campaigns, since the brutal massacre of over a thousand of our innocent members and the illegal detention of our leader and hundreds of his followers in the past two years.
“We have been staging peaceful protest marches in Abuja, to press home our demand for the freedom of our leader, his wife, and several others in detention, since the Zaria massacre of December 2015. We have not for once resorted to the use of terror tactics. This is not about to change, We, therefore, reject any form of violence or use of terror tactics in our name,” the statement said.