NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSING IMN MEMBERS
By Abdulmumin Giwa
Since the peaceful Free Sheikh Zakzaky protest by the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (AFIMN) in Abuja last week, it has become pertinent to address the observations made by the organizers.
The National Human Right Commission (NHRC) was condemned by the protesters for refusing to take any actions on the demands of the IMN after several protests in front of the NHRC while the same commission was quick to respond to the complaints of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who claimed that he was targeted for assassination by the IMN in December 2015 in Zaria.
The NHRC was quick at establishing an inquiry into his claims but failed to heed the calls by the IMN for the release of its leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky whose fundamental human right is violated as he is kept in illegal detention for now over 11 months.
Sheikh Zakzaky was attacked in his house by the Nigerian Army and shot severally, he lost the left eye and the motor function of his left arm, his wife was shot severally in the womb, three of his biological sons killed brutally, his elder sister and others in the house burned alive and the residence burned down and subsequently demolished by governor El-rufai. Finally he was abducted and detained illegally.
The NHRC was not interested in all these violations and extra-judicial acts committed by the Nigerian government and its Army even as the victims have complained several times before it but was interested in favoring the COAS.
This segregation extends widely. Soldiers, police and hired thugs conveyed in security vehicle were seen beating IMN members in and throwing them in the back of their vehicles chanting anti-Shi’ite slogans and taken to prison custody with fabricated charges in court. Yet the police hypocritically say they were protecting the IMN members from attack whereas they are the attackers.
The security men and hired thugs go round looting property and killing IMN members and when they go to complain to the police they get arrested and detained for complaining. In Jos in particular, two IMN members went to complain to the police when they saw some of their looted items on sale in a local market and the police simply arrested them and took them to prison saying they were hunting for IMN members. They never bothered to go after the property thereby signing and approving the looting of IMN members’ properties.
In Kaduna state the governor deceptively said he had ordered the arrest of the thugs that looted and killed IMN members but they are still around and no one is being arrested. Moreover most of them were policemen dressed like thugs so one wonders who will be arrested.
There was also the case of an Area Court Judge in Kaduna bragging in court that IMN members have no rights and should be hunted like rats. An IMN member was charged to his court by one of those who attacked the Kaduna IMN center and killed two IMN members claiming that the IMN member was a threat to him. Without any further investigation the judge was already biased and denying the IMN member bail. He too is now in prison.
Another IMN member was arrested by police in Kaduna for making calls with his cell phone close to where they were. They checked his phone and saw pictures of Sheikh Zakzaky and they arraigned him before court, he is now in prison.
That was also how a vendor was arrested because he was in possession of Al-Mizan newspaper of the IMN, a registered paper with an Nigerian Union of Journalists chapel, and was rushed to court and sentenced to four years imprisonment or an option of N80,000 (eighty thousand) and four months in jail. He too is now in prison.
Minors, injured persons, pregnant and nursing mothers have been jailed in Jos and Kaduna for being IMN members and in some cases for simply dressing in black. Some of them are now still in prison.
The government is supporting these acts of suppression and abuse of fundamental human rights against IMN members and also using state funds and facilities to facilitate them.
This is anarchy and a display of misrule in a democratic dispensation. Those in power use state resources against a religious understanding they see to be rivaling their own religious belief. They contradict their own oath of office to be fair and just to all.
Definitely as the APC turns into a Wahhabi/Salafi movement implementing a sectarian agenda more and more Nigerians are threatened.
The Wahabis have mentioned it in several places that when they finished with the Shiites they will then deal with the Christians. At least they have a standing record of religious crises in Nigeria and the fierce terrorist Boko Haram is their offshoot. This is a very dangerous trend.
It is nothing done behind the scene because all Nigerians have seen how President Buhari has hosted Wahhabi terror breeders from Saudi Arabia on several occasions.
It is now the duty of every right-thinking person to rise against percussion and minority cleansing of IMN members by the Nigerian government. It is a clear threat to peace and harmony of the citizenry. Obedience to law and order as well as the constitution should be an-everybody affair to start by the Nigerian government.
The human rights image of the Nigerian government is highly discouraging. Nigerian government has a record of extra-judicial killings, abuse of fundamental human rights, disobedience to court orders and violation of national and international laws.
This APC government appears to be more like a government of thugs who operate dictatorially with utter disregard to the law and yet hypocritically claims that it is fighting corruption and enforcing law and order. Imagine the Nigerian government sponsoring thugs to attack and loot citizens because they see them as rivals in faith understanding. This is very unbecoming of a government.Nigeria