In the aftermath of the brutal attack on Sheikh Zakzaky and Islamic Movement of Nigeria by Nigerian government in December last year, frantic steps have been undertaken by state officials and in particular security agencies to portray the Movement as violent. This is to give retroactive justification to its hostile actions against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The hallmark of this misnomer was the recent declaration by Kaduna State Governor that Islamic Movement in Nigeria is even an “insurgent” group.
This has appeared to garner currency among security agencies in Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Plateau and lately Jigawa states, with officials parroting the ridiculous pronouncement, and some going steps further to insist that IMN should be monitored because it is a violent group. The maintenance of this false position without basis is an indication that there is a sinister scheme by these government officials to create an insurgency in our name, out of desperation to stamp out the Islamic Movement.
We wish to strongly reject such unjustified tagging of the IMN. For the avoidance of doubts, we would like the World to know that we have never and do not even contemplate taking up arms against anyone. Our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has, over the four decades of the existence of the Movement, taken a non-violent posture and has repeatedly said guns and other weapons are the tools of the insane.
In all this time, our weapons have been truth, perseverance, sacrifice and a firm belief that no force or weapons can crush the truth no matter how powerful it appears. That has been the secret of the IMN remaining non-violent throughout the harrowing experience of the Zaria massacre. Not even the kangaroo Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Kaduna state government could nail the Movement with this mischievous accusation of carrying or stock-piling arms, simply because there are none.
Any pronouncement that appears to make call for use of arms and retaliation is not in line with the peaceful nature of Sheikh Zakzaky’s Islamic activities. It can also be a belated and malicious response to the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja that ordered for the release of our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
This will not deter us from continuing with our pursuit of justice through all peaceful and lawful ways. The general public and the international community should therefore ignore such labels and be distrustful of any ignoble attempt at soiling our name in whatever guise.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF IMN