On Friday October 7, 2016 the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufa’i issued out an order declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as an unlawful society, with even a penalty of seven years in jail on its members. He claimed the executive council of Kaduna state arrived at the decision based on the already discredited recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria massacre carried out by the Army in Zaria last December.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) wishes to categorically make it clear to the general public that we vehemently reject such an order and declare it a flagrant infringement on our basic rights as citizens of this country to hold an opinion, associate freely without molestation. This is nothing but plot by Governor Elrufa’i to further its diabolic agenda of the massacre of innocent citizens having failed to accomplish it in December 2015.
All the sections cited to premise this decision are wrong. It is noteworthy that the state government based its dubious stance on the so-called recommendations of JCI while conveniently keeping mute on obvious gross violations of rights reported by the same JCI such as extrajudicial murder of 347 people and secretly burying them in mass graves without the consent of their relatives. Why didn’t it also talk of prosecuting the Nigerian Army Generals that were fingered out by the Commission as perpetrators of the genocide in Zaria? We cannot be deceived by the hypocritical stance of Governor Elrufa’i.
The government is fretting having failed to justify the continued detention of our leader and having failed to show any rational basis for the whole attack and are left with no option but to resort to absurdity. We wish to draw the attention of those behind such an illegal order that IMN is not an association or a society but a global concept that cannot be banned by fiat. We are not therefore distracted by this baseless move. Clearly reason, logic, the law and Constitution, conscience and propriety are all on the side of the Islamic Movement. Nothing can take away our right of as individuals or groups to worship and associate.
We will like to assure the general public that the state government will not distract our attention with its ban, into taking the path of violence, which it craves for. We will challenge this using all known peaceful and legal means in the ways and manner we have done for the last four decades. We will keep on demanding that justice be done with respect to Zaria massacre through lawful and peaceful means.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF IMN