By Muhammad Darazo
My attention was drawn to an article published by Breaking Times, this day, 18th of November, 2016 by one Kolawole Anthony. The article states that “Nigeria is in the grip of terrorists’ groups. Boko Haram is being degraded in the North-East. Niger-Delta militants could soon be pacified at talks in the South-South. Separatists in the South-East are tending towards intellectual struggle. Only the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is proving recalcitrant”. From the first paragraph of Anthony’s article, I got to understand where he was heading to. His article is based to black paint the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and vindicate the Government in the too far taken injustice against IMN. The writer failed to understand that IMN is not a “group” talk less of being a terrorists’. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is a concept, believe and ideology. One cannot compare between IMN and the mentioned groups by Anthony.
Anthony went ahead to say that “IMN extremism is spreading. The group is no longer confined to what used to be it’s enclave in Zaria, Kaduna state. It is desirous of spreading it’s influence – Plateau, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe and other northern states are in it’s crosshair for the short term. In the wake of an outright ban of it’s activities by the Kaduna State Government it is looking to test the waters in other states. Any willing state becomes the new hub for it’s criminal precessions.
Governors of neighbouring states to Kaduna must be bold to confront this threat”. I don’t know how much Anthony knows about IMN, but it seems he don’t know anything. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has being in existence for about 40 year now. The programs of IMN have being running peacefully in not less than 20 states in Nigeria for about 30 years. In all the states which IMN is carrying out it’s activities, one can find centers and schools of the movement where members assemble to conduct their activities. The “ban” placed on IMN by the Kaduna state government is just an attempt to violate our right of religion which is unacceptable and constitutionally impossible unless the constitution is amended. The processions of IMN are God’s given as well as constitutional right, therefore we are rightfully bound to organise procession across the country.
He furthermore stated that “IMN is testing the waters elsewhere. It found the Nigerian Army formidable and beat a tactical retreat. It fights the army and wages war against the military in the media and cyberspace. It’s experience cannot be disregarded. Iran provides tactical training for fighting on the streets while unleashing propaganda in the media and online. The truth placed the military above IMN”. One can clearly understand where Anthony is heading to. He is referring to Zaria massacre, where the Nigerian Army committed what is undoubtedly a massacre with the intention and knowledge of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief Of Army Staff, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmed Elrufai and others.
During the massacre, the Nigerian army murdered about 1000 members of the Islamic Movement. The clueless act of the Nigerian army in Zaria involved rape, torture, burning to death and deliberately shooting women in their private parts. The Nigerian army also abducted some girls of the Islamic Movement immediately after the disastrous massacre to date. This is a shameful act that dented the image of the Nigerian army in the international arena. Responsible human beings from all around the world condemned the clueless act of the “gallant” army. They totally acted against the guiding principles and ethics of the military profession.
The army failed to clean sweep it’s image about the Zaria massacre, not even after many sponsored campaigns and articles like Anthony’s. This is how the Islamic Movement became victorious over Zaria massacre as our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky has being saying “the more you torch us, the stronger we become”.
I don’t know that the little we’ve done on social media is threatening Anthony and his sponsors, they should understand that the continues victory which the Islamic Movement achieves is because the world is full of good people that were misguided by the sponsored fabrications of the Government. If you feel threatened with our social media influence, please know that you’ve not seen anything yet. Anthony further wrote “The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is IMN’s new test case. It appears to want to use it’s failed strategy against the army on the NPF. Fanatics attacked policemen on legitimate duty to stop a protest in Kano”. In this, Anthony is referring to the recent Kano Massacre where the Police also took time killing innocent and defenseless members of IMN without any legal back-up.
The police massacred not less than 100 Nigerian citizens mainly women and children including pregnant women and babies. Baby Zainab was among the massacred victims of Police clueless act. Her life was put to end, compliment of two police’s bullets which blew up her head as she was backed by her mother. She was 8 months old and treated like this. Yet, the likes of Anthony has no sympathetic mind to side with the baby and demand justice for her. I believe this is what Anthony mean by the IMN’s “new test case”, the police. Since the police also choose to wear the shoes of the oppression, IMN has no any option than to accept them as the “new test case”. The constant remain “the more you torch us, the stronger we”. I can assure Anthony and his sponsors, that in the same way the Nigerian army were defeated by the IMN, the Nigeria Police Force shall also be defeated.
For Anthony’s attack on Iran, I see nothing other than ignorance and deliberate falsification. If IMN is getting any support from Iran other than the normal sympathy which comes from all around the world, Anthony’s sponsored would have known and present evidence. He wrote an interesting and factual truth about the unfortunate and heinous crime against the Islamic Movement that “The recent IMN clash with Police in Kano is therefore not a headache for the NPF alone. It is not even headache for the Nigerian state alone. It is a concern that the world must tackle with dispatch”. Yes Mr. Anthony, it is true. The massacre is very unfortunate, so we should not fold our hands while genocide is taking place. I am craving the indulgence of all freedom fighters, human rights activists and advocates of Due process/Justice to keep demanding, keep fighting, keep struggling until justice is served.