Nigeria: Proscription El-Zakzaky Followers Suspend Protests

Shiite crisis.
1 August 2019

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has announced the suspension of its "Free El-Zakzaky" street protests to allow for new openings into the resolution of the problems.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the "Free El-Zakzaky" protesters recently clashed with security agencies at National Assembly Complex and Federal Secretariat, Abuja where deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), DCP Usman Musa and a Channels' Television reporter, Precious Owolabi, were killed.

They also destroyed public and private property, including the safety bay of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja.

Consequently, the federal government secured an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, declaring the group a terrorist outfit. Thereafter the government gazette the court order proscribing the sect while the police declared that the group's members would henceforth be treated under the Terrorism Act.

And yesterday, the sect issued a statement through the head, Media Forum of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, declaring the suspension of further protests.

Musa said that IMN had gone to court to institute a case on the proscription order.

According to him, "the Islamic Movement in Nigeria do hereby announce to the general public and the international community that it has temporarily suspended its 'Free El-Zakzaky' street protests to allow for some new openings into the resolution of the problems, especially the court case instituted by our lawyers on the proscription order made by the federal government this week."

Musa said that the group has taken the step in good faith out of respect for some eminent people and groups, whose input in the resolution of the problems appears genuine.

He said that they hope an amicable way could be found to addressing the crisis surrounding the detention of their leader for almost four years.

The statement reads in part: "If at all any protests occur anywhere in the country, it might be this notice has not reached those in the field or this message is misunderstood or it is some security agents who are mischievously behind it as they have been doing in an attempt to smear our image and be seen as unruly people rather than as victims of savage oppression since 2015.

"The Islamic Movement wishes to thank both national and international civil rights activists and organisations who have been busy demanding the protection of our fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.

"We also thank the press, both national and international, and the social media activists for the full coverage of our activities throughout the struggle for justice," he said.

Musa said that they were committed to exploring the new openings in resolving the protracted issue.

"We, therefore, reiterate our demand that our leader, his wife and several others in detention be given their freedom denied to them since 2015," he added.

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