hiites Reject Ban, Threaten to Sue El-Rufa’i

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John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite yesterday said it would institute a legal action against the Kaduna State Government for declaring the group illegal.
The Movement vowed to explore all peaceful and constitutional means to challenge the decision of the state government.

The Kaduna state government had on Friday issued a declaration, outlawing the Movement, saying it did so in the interest of peace and stability in the state.
The government in a statement said it took the decision to preserve peace and security in the state. “The action is also taken to ensure that all persons and organisations are guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution”, the state government explained.

Spokesperson of the movement, Ibraheem Musa told newsmen in Kaduna that the ban announced by the government was illegal, and described it as an infringement on the basic rights of the members of the group.

“It’s an infringement on our basic right as citizens of the country. We are not going to be intimidated into taking any violence or unlawful activity but will take legal action against the Kaduna State Government for the infringement”, he said.
Musa maintained further that the ban was nothing but a plot by Governor Nasir El-Rufai to massacre innocent citizens.

“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 El-Rufa’i to further its diabolic agenda of the massacre of innocent citizens having failed to accomplish it in December 2015,” Musa said.
He argued further that provisions of the law cited by the state government to justify its decision are wrong, declaring that “nothing can take away our right of as individuals or groups to worship and associate.”

Musa noted that “the state government based its dubious stance on the so-called recommendations of Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) while conveniently keeping mute on obvious gross violations of rights reported by the same JCI such as extra-judicial 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 El-Rufa’i.”

According to the statement, “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”, the group added.