I was surfing the net for news items when the above captioned story captured my attention. In the story by Jerrywright Ukwu, it was reported that a group known as ‘Kaduna state citizens for peace’ has raised an alarm of accusing the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) of trying to install their own government in Kaduna state. Waggish as the garbage may be it is imperative to clear the erroneous message carried in it. In this era of joblessness it is not too arduous to hire brutes that have no moral values to take to the streets especially when someone has enough resources at his disposal. So, the hitherto non entities like Richard Augustine and Nathaniel Agada who were commissioned to act as the president and secretary of the unknown group ‘Kaduna state citizens for peace’ very well know that they are agents of scamp and false tale mongers.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been in existence for about forty years. Members of the movement are fully integrated in the society, their methods of operation and activities are open and well known to the world. So it is malicious and open mendacities for any hired road side hoodlum and his group to associate violence to the movement. It is on record that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has never breached any peace even on provocation. When in 2014, the then government decided to attack and killed thirty four members of the Islamic Movement; there were insinuations from the security quarters that IMN members were going to take retaliatory measures by attacking Military and Police installations and barracks. The unfounded allegations were repudiated and dismissed as evil machinations of the security apparatus to stage false flag operations and blame the Islamic Movement. Even after the December 2015 attack on the Islamic Movement which saw over a thousand innocent lives lost to the bullets of the ‘gallant’ Nigerian Army and the arrest of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and hundreds of his followers, the Islamic Movement has never lost focus of being civic in its operations. It is on this note we want to disassociate the Islamic Movement from any form of action that may lead to the ‘breach of peace’ in Kaduna State or anywhere talk less of a “coup in Kaduna State”.
The recently submitted report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry which according to some media has indicted the Nigerian Army is obviously the cause of discomfort to the government and hence the need to mop up support and sympathy for the officers indicted. Yes, the so called fictitious ‘Kaduna state citizens for peace’ group is free to express its fears or the fears of their contractors over the possible implications of the report of the JIC. They may however wish to remember that Chief Femi Falana (SAN) made his call on the Kaduna state government to persecute soldiers that attacked the IMN group some days before the JCI submitted its report. His call was based on professional knowledge of law. Chief Femi Falana (SAN) is an authority in his profession. His integrity and reputation speak for him in the circle of his colleagues and beyond. He is an icon of law and Human Rights activism and a senior Advocate of Nigeria. With these distinguishing qualities and characteristics of Chief Femi Falana (SAN), it is therefore surprising how some hired louts can fault his submissions. Where are the legal professionals? The contractors of ‘Kaduna state citizens for peace’ group could do better by engaging them to sort things out.
If despite the nonappearance of IMN at the JCI, what was made available to the Commission was so incriminating to indict the Nigerian Army, one wonders what would have been the result had the government allowed Sheikh Zakzaky to appear and make his submission or the legal team of the IMN has made their submissions.
We want to state in clear and strong terms that the claim by ‘Kaduna State Citizens for peace’ that “the IMN are said to be on standby to unleash mayhem citing the rejection of the panel’s report as the reason for violent protests in the state, which would then be spread to other parts of the country” is false and baseless.
Professor Abdullahi Danladi
Islamic Movement in Nigeria