The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has said the recent move by the police to brand the movement as a terrorist group is unacceptable and will be resisted.
This was contained in a statement issued to the press on Thursday and signed by the Movement spokesman, Ibrahim Musa.
The statement noted that the attempt by the police to charge the 400 members of the sect for act of terrorism was to, say the least, a deliberate attempt to tarnish their image.
The statement maintained that ‘Sequel to the recent brutal clampdown on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria by a joint security force made up of Police and Army in Abuja from 27th of October 2018 to 30th of October 2018, where they killed at least forty-eight of our members, the Nigeria Police Force issued a statement.
‘The statement, which was signed by Police Force Spokesman, DCP Jimoh Moshood, and issued to the public on October 20, 2018 made every effort to demonise the Movement to the extent of falsely ascribing terror laden acts to it and placing it on red alert.
‘The statement claimed that the Police have arrested about 400 members of the movement and they are going to be charged to court for terrorism.
“We hereby categorically dismiss any attempt to link the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to acts of terrorism. It is pertinent to note that the philosophy and ideology of Shia abhors bloodshed.
‘This justifies why there is no single Shia group that is in any way linked to terrorism across the world and we are not an exception. Terrorism is not in our character and will never be.
‘You may recall a statement issued by the movement on the 29th of October 2018 and signed by the President of the Media Forum of the Movement Mr. Ibrahim Musa, we made it categorically clear that there is a plot use the Arbaeen to intimidate and implicate the movement.
“It has come to our notice that Nigerian security apparatus has commissioned it men and paid agents to massively infiltrate the Arbaeen procession scheduled to hold in Abuja in the coming days to induce violence with the view to smearing the movement in the eyes of the world once and for all “the statement declared.
To this end, ‘The Islamic Movement in Nigeria hereby dissociates itself from the deliberate mischief and narration of impounding petrol bombs and burning police vehicle. This is the plot of the security agents and those instructing them from behind the scene in order to blackmail the movement.
“We wish to remind the Nigeria Police that we as Nigerians have the constitutional right to practice our religion or belief, assemble, express ourselves and protest as enshrined in Article 38 of The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Freedom of Religion and cannot therefore be denied with the scare of mischievously placing the movement on RED ALERT.
“We hereby call on the general public not to be deceived by the false allegations and executive lies being spread with the intention of blackmailing the peaceful movement and depicting it as violent even without any traces of violence in it’s almost 40 years of existence,” it concluded.