A human interest organisation, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC), has expressed concern over the failure of the Federal Government to designate the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) (popularly known as Shiites) as a terrorist organization.
The group was particularly worried that the government failed to act despite repeated demands from stakeholders.
According to SHAC, the bias on the part of the government has placed IMN in a position of power to attempt to re-write history.
The Executive Director of SHAC, Dr. Paul Gyado, told journalists on Monday in Jos, that based on its orgy of violence and bloodshed, “the Federal Government should ban activities of IMN nationwide.”
SHAC also threatened to drag the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations Security Council as an accomplice in any crime committed by IMN should it fail to declare the sect a terrorist organization.
He said, “Irrespective of the insipid denials and attempts to belittle groups that are bold enough to confront the IMN menace, SHAC demands that the Federal Government should emulate the Kaduna State Government, which acted appropriately by outlawing IMN based on evidence at its disposal, and would have certainly declared it a terror group had that not been the preserve of the Federal Government.
“It should therefore declare IMN as terror group that threatens the peaceful existence of Nigeria. SHAC warns that failure to declare IMN a terrorist organization will force us to drag the Attorney General of the Federation before the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council as an accomplice in any crime committed by the group.
“Going by its penchant for hiring paid activists to lie on its behalf, we urge IMN to properly extricate itself from the damning indictment of the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry before attempting to make a bid for martyrdom.”
SHAC expressed surprise that spokesperson of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, was riding of the seeming indifference of the Federal Government to openly distort known facts and attempt to demonize the institution of state.
Gyado said contrary to the claim that IMN has not committed any act of terror in its 40 years existence, it was on record that fighters of the group that has been outlawed by the Kaduna State Government have killed a soldier and three policemen, crimes for which several of their members have been on trial.
The deaths of the security personnel in the hands of IMN fighters, according to him, were pursuant to its disavowal of the Nigerian state in difference to the parallel organs of government that exist in the group’s hierarchy.
He said, “There have been instances when the Indigenous People of Biafra, which a court had ruled to be a terrorist group, has issued statements identifying it as sharing common interests with IMN, mostly around the refusal to recognize Nigeria as sovereign state. IMN is therefore in alliance with IPOB.
“The White Paper released by the Kaduna State Government following the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clashes of December 2015 clearly stated that ‘for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such’ and that ‘the sheer numbers of IMN members congregating in Zaria from across the country that night, with many bearing arms, was such that the Nigerian Army was in no position to accurately determine how armed and organised they were and had to be concerned on what their intention for Zaria was.’
“Nigerians are not unaware that IMN operates as a franchise for state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on whose behalf it is antagonizing the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a country whose authority IMN members have continually refused to acknowledge except when seeking unmerited reliefs from the courts.
“On several occasions, arms shipments from Iran meant for IMN were intercepted but hushed by security agencies in order not to cause panic in the polity. In a clear demonstration of lack of contrition and repentance from these acts of terrorism, the group has relocated to Abuja where they daily attempt to shut down the city and unleash hardship on law abiding residents all in the name of demanding for the release of their leader.
“The resulting encounters with security personnel has seen them attack the law enforcement officers and damage operational vehicles. Even worse is IMN’s strategy of deploying women and children as human shield in these attacks.
“It is therefore confounding that the Federal Government continues to fall for the IMN blackmail of playing the victim, its antics that has now been discovered and the reason it is in panic mode. They have tried all tricks to deceive Nigerians about their true status but this has proven to be in vain.”