The popularity of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), known as the Shiites, reacted to the judicial sentence obtained by the federal government, declaring them as a terrorist group.
On Friday, Judge Nkeonye Maha of the Abuja Federal High Court banned the group and banned its activities throughout the Federation.
The ban followed the bloody clash that members of the Islamic group had with the police on Monday 22 July in Abuja.
The crash led to the death of a young Corper who served on TV Channels, Precious Owolabi, a deputy police commissioner, Umar Bebel and 10 others.
In response to the ruling, the secretary of the movement’s academic forum, Abdullahi Musa, said the federal government cannot prevent the group from practicing its religion.
“Everybody is aware of their moves. All they want is to suppress the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) just to please Saudi Arabia. They want to kill Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky and silence all of us. When they were killing us, they didn’t get any court order. Now, they are talking of court order, does Buhari obey court orders?
I don’t think any court has the right to ban any religious group. Islamic movement in Nigeria is not an organisation registered under the government, it is a religious group. Are they trying to stop us from saying our daily prayers?”
Do they want to stop us from participating in our Christian neighbour activities? Do they want to stop us from going to Mecca? The issue is that they have been killing and they want to continue the killings, they should go ahead with their killings, no need to wait for any court. We are practising religion and we will continue to practice our religion, there is no killing or act of intimidation that will stop us from practicing our religion.
The president or the governor of any state cannot force us to adopt their ideology, they want us to succumb to their own ideology and we have said no. This government is killing us because they feel that it this is time for Jihad. They should go ahead with their jihad, when they are through with us they will move to the Christians and other religious bodies.
You can’t just wake up and say you have proscribed the activities of IMN. It’s like saying you have banned the Catholic Church or any other church. Does that make any sense? Is there any constitution backing that? We are practising religion and we will continue practising the religion they have been killing us and we did not stop practising our religion, they should go ahead because we won’t stop.”
Musa vowed that they will continue to stage a protest until their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is released.
“Once they allow Zakzaky out of custody, we will leave the streets. If they release him today, they will not see us on the street tomorrow. “ he said.