The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) wishes to allay the fears deliberately peddled to the public in Sokoto state by police command and Ministry of justice that there will be a mass African congress of Shi’a in the next few days, which they claim is a security breach to peace in the state.
We wish to make it categorically clear that we are hearing of such an event from the security operatives themselves for the first time. Prior to the public announcement over the radio by the police over the banning of the false event, the Police Commissioner was on a fact-finding mission to the Islamic Centre of IMN in Sokoto, where it was confirmed to him, there is no such event in the offing. Surprisingly, the same fictitious story was termed as “credible” by security agencies.
From the announcement over the media, Sokoto Police Commissioner and AG are just out to heat up the polity with lies, and malicious schemes against IMN as they lay ground for anarchy, and bloodshed. The duo called on the public to join them in their crusade against the IMN whom they refer to as Shiites. This is a subtle way of saying that some hired thugs have been given the go-ahead to lynch anybody they presume to be Shia.
— Harun Elbinawi (@ELBINAWI) December 9, 2016
IMN has observed that prior to the visit to Sokoto by COAS some few weeks ago, Sokoto state government hadn’t joined the league of states hiding behind state apparatus to demonize IMN and unleash terror upon it. However, since then, the storyline adopted by COAS and cohort in Zaria massacre is now glaringly being adopted in Sokoto. In Zaria, ‘credible intelligence’ reports was the smokescreen used in the attack against IMN, and that is what is playing out now in Sokoto.
A possible political dimension to this malicious public announcement is the APC-led government trying to portray Sokoto state as not peaceful, so that it could get the judgement on the gubernatorial election petition be postponed indefinitely.
We hereby caution the politicians in power not to use innocent lives as pawns in their political chess game. Previous state government that used such tactics against the IMN didn’t workout for it. Their malicious plots against the IMN was punctured when the Courts absolved the IMN of any wrongdoing and delivered judgement in its favour.
Another possibility however is that the Sokoto state government wants to preempt any attempt to celebrate the annual Maulud of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) normally held between the 12 and 17 of Rabi’ul Awwal of each year, which is a clear indication that it is dancing to the tunes of the Saudi-backed Wahabis in our midst that abhor such meritorious celebrations. Such a move is unconstitutional and a breach of Muslims’ fundamental rights to practice their religion.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF IMN