The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has condemned Wednesday’s attack on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as the Shiite sect.
The Director of the centre Idayat Hassan said yesterday in statement that the clashes between the sect members, security agents and some Nigerians leading to scores being killed is unwarranted to prevent opening to another conflict front.
She said that among the reported reasons for the attacks was the commemoration of a religious rite called “Ashura”, which involves processional marches.
“Over the years, these processions have been done peacefully in many parts of the country. This year, however, there were concerted attempts by both security agencies and other Islamic groups to stop them.
The Order, which came into operation on 7th October, 2016 declares that: “the Society that bears the name, style, guise or nomenclature of the “Islamic Movement in Nigeria”, is hereby declared an Unlawful Society in Kaduna State.” Hassan said.
She said the new law by the Kaduna State Government has been a trigger that unleashed these attacks on members of the Shiite community across the country.
“It is estimated that there are about three million members of this religious community all over the country and it is very irresponsible for a State Government to proscribe their operations. One of the most dangerous acts is for members of a religious community to believe that their religious freedom to exercise their faith according to their belief is curtailed.
“It is important to note that the leader of the movement Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky has been in detention with his wife since December last year with no charges filed against them. His followers have been demanding for his release and the DSS has responded that they are holding him for his safety,” Hassan added.
She said that members of the IMN have however claimed that the government is trying to kill their leader.
“It appears that there is an attempt to push the Shiites in Nigeria to popular revolt. We have enough insurgencies and violent conflicts in Nigeria and the CDD appeals to authorities and the civil populace to beware of pushing our country to more violent conflicts.”