The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has condemned its branding as a Shiite militia by the Kaduna Police Commissioner in a statement he issued to pressmen recently, describing it as mischievous.
This was contained in a press statement shared with the media by President of the Media Forum of the Movement, Ibrahim Musa today.
The Islamic Movement said: “It is clearly a mischievous and deliberate attempt at blackmail to not only mention the Islamic Movement in a row of renown crimes but to also insinuate that it is a militia, a false accusation the Kaduna state government had failed to prove before the State High Court despite all efforts.”
It also added, “In this wise, it is worth educating him to set the record straight that the IMN under the revered leadership of Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is a religious movement aiming to establish divine guidance and salvage the souls of people and not to kill them. The Movement uses knowledge and logic and does not need or use arms in achieving its lofty goals. So it is deliberate mischief to label it as a militia.”
Below is the full press statement:
We condemn the mischievous criminal branding of the Islamic Movement by Kaduna Police Commissioner.
The attention of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been drawn to the mischievous branding of the Movement as a criminal group by the Kaduna State Police Commissioner during a press conference parading criminals before newsmen that took place at the Kaduna Command last week.
Part of the statement by the Commissioner reads as follows: “I am delighted to inform you that the command in the last few weeks, in its numerous tasks of securing lives and property of law-abiding citizens of Kaduna state has succeeded in arresting one hundred and fifty-seven suspects for various crimes which include Armed Banditry, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cattle Rustling, Culpable Homicide, Rape, Shop Breaking, Looting of Government Private Warehouses, Theft, Shi’ite (IMN) militias to mention but a few.”
It is clearly a mischievous and deliberate attempt at blackmail to not only mention the Islamic Movement in a row of renowned crimes but to also insinuate that it is a militia, a false accusation of the Kaduna state government had failed to prove before the State High Court despite all efforts.
It is pertinent for the peaceful Islamic Movement engaged in purely religious activities to condemn such an act of falsehood of branding it as criminal and also insinuating that it is a militia. Lest the police commissioner forgets, the meaning of a militia is a military force that is raised from the civil population to engage in rebel or terrorist activities in opposition to a regular army.
In this wise, it is worth educating him to set the record straight that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the revered leadership of Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is a religious Movement aiming to establish Devine guidance and salvage the souls of people and not to kill them. The Movement uses knowledge and logic and does not need or use arms in achieving its lofty goals. So it is deliberate mischief to label it as a militia.
More so, the newsmen present at the press briefing didn’t actually take the commissioner serious on his false claims about the Islamic Movement as none of the followers of the Movement was paraded on that day along with the various crime perpetrators to justify his unfounded claim.
We are forced to believe that the police commissioner, having understood the level of crimes against humanity committed against followers of the movement, and the instruction to put in place a Judicial Committee to investigate such crimes in the state, false branding of the Islamic Movement might provide them with a soft landing.
The police in Kaduna have severely extra-judicially killed followers of the movement peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights to assembly and association.
The movement, therefore, by this statement, sets the records straight that it is not, and will never be a militia group, does not and will never have any criminal tendencies.
We use this opportunity to renew our call for the unconditional release of our revered leader Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife, and many others, a reason why several of our colleagues have been extra-judicially killed by the trigger happy police on the streets of Kaduna.