Home » Headline » El-Zakzaky faithful vow to fight ban
El-Zakzaky faithful vow to fight ban

El-Zakzaky faithful vow to fight ban

The Shi’ite Muslim sect that has been declared an unlawful society by the Kaduna State government vowed on Saturday to challenge the ban, even as a group, Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA) called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and other security agencies to clamp down on the sect.

The Shi’ite Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the army in Zaria, Kaduna State, in December 2015. A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members. Governor Nasir el-Rufai had on Friday said anyone convicted of being a member of the sect could be imprisoned for seven years, fined or both.

The size of the fine was not specified. Diplomats and security analysts say the violence risked spawning a radical Shi’ite militant wing, just as the Boko Haram uprising began in 2009 after security forces killed hundreds of its members and its leader Mohammed Yusuf died in custody. The Shi’ite sect’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been held in custody, without charge, since his December arrest following the clashes.

The Kaduna State government said the group had “overtly continued with unlawful processions” and “obstruction of public highways” since the clashes.

“These acts, if allowed to go unchecked will constitute danger to the peace, tranquillity, harmonious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna State,” it said, declaring the group unlawful with immediate effect. A spokesman for the sect, Ibraheem Musa, said its members were not going to be intimidated into resorting to violence, reports Reuters.

“Very soon, we shall challenge this ban through legal and peaceful means,” he said. Meanwhile, ASJA has said security agencies should arrest, detain and prosecute anyone that goes out in the name of the Shiites’ Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or its subsidiaries to take part in protests in any part of the country on Monday.

The National President of ASJA, Mr. Torkuma Venatius, who made the call in Abuja yesterday, explained that it was clear that the protests planned by the Shiites groups were a cover for mischief.

The Shiites had announced plans to protest in Abuja and other major cities on Monday citing the expiration of a 14- day ultimatum for the release of their detained leader, Sheik Ibraheem Al Zakyzaky as their reason. Venatius said the failure of IMN to call off its protests, even after the ban by the state government, is the height of irresponsibility and a resolve to test the power of the state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: