Abuja — A group, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC), has written the United States of America over alleged nefarious activities of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi'ites.
The centre specifically frowned at the recent protests staged by the Shi'ites which led to loss of lives and crippled commercial activities in Abuja.In the letter signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Grace Akatu, SHAC urged the United States to speak on the side of truth by urging an end to what it described as terrorist activities of IMN and its members in Nigeria.
"The natural reaction from any patriotic Nigerian with knowledge of the IMN violence would be to condemn many of these statements as meddling in Nigeria's affairs without the benefit of facts, but we appreciate that countries that took time to urge caution have facts at their disposal... "Far from being 'harmless protesters', IMN members that invaded Abuja have only one intent, which is to unleash terror on the law abiding residents of the city.
"The IMN leader, Mr. Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, is not being held by Abuja residents but by law enforcement agencies that have arraigned him before a court of competent jurisdiction. It is, therefore, the height of mischief for IMN extremists to occupy the streets of Abuja, cripple businesses and destroy private property without law enforcement agents stepping in to protect Nigerians. If the police and army did not step in to defend Nigerians and prevent the sect from overrunning the city, they would have failed in their duty," the letter read in part.
Akatu said the intervention of the police, which was overwhelmed, thereby necessitating the involvement of the army, was a necessity owing to the status of IMN as an outlawed group. "This places IMN a mere one level below being declared a terror group even though its actions in the recent weeks have automatically bestowed this status on its members.
They are terrorists with links to a state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran."According to the group, any country supporting or defending the right of IMN members to attack Nigerian security agents without consequences is directly supporting Iran, which has allegedly continued to give financial and logistics support to the group in violation of the etiquette of international relations.
"You are invited to note that all the countries where Iran has deployed sectarian foot soldiers to undermine national balance often end up in trouble. We can point to Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as definite examples where Iran's meddling sent the individual country into spiral of violence from which there are no guarantees of return to stability or normalcy.
"With these worrisome connections, it is distressing that your country continues to refer to IMN extremists as 'peaceful protesters'. Even where there is political value in ignoring the hand of Iran in IMN's disturbances in Nigeria, video footages from the protests confirm that they are anything but peaceful. They deployed slingshots, petrol bombs, stones and other missiles at policemen and soldiers, leaving one wondering if they expected hugs in return."
The SHAC said the position of President Donald Trump on how those hurling stones and sticks at soldiers should be treated was instructive in this matter. "In reaction to the migrants' caravan heading to the United States from Honduras and other South American nations, the US President was categorical in declaring that hurling rocks and sticks against troops would be treated as firearms."