Shi’iites Ought To Be Celebrating – Presidency

Shi’iites Ought To Be Celebrating – Presidency
  • PublishedJuly 22, 2019

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said the Islamic Movement of Nigeria should be celebrating the decision of the Federal Government to end its involvement in the trial of its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Shehu, who spoke on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television, criticised the group for its failure to accept the “olive branch” in the Presidency’s response to the violent protests of the IMN members in Abuja.

Asked to comment on the potential security implications of the continued protests by IMN, the Presidential spokesperson criticised the Shiites.

He said, “Those guys are not intelligent. If they had read our statement correctly, they would have seen an olive branch. What is the government saying? We are still open to dialogue and we are willing to abide by adjudication by the court of law.

“If the Nigerian government says, ‘Our hands are off that case’ (and) the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice says, ‘We no longer have a hand’; if those guys were intelligent, they should be celebrating this.”

Shehu said the Shiites should focus their energy on the ongoing case in Kaduna, adding that “whichever way it goes, the government would implement.”

He added, “But assembling women and young kids and teaching them nothing to do other than insult President Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of this country and you think that will take you somewhere?

“No, I’m sorry, those guys need to think and determine what is right for themselves. If the government were to use force, it is present. But by the decision of the President, we don’t push too hard and they shouldn’t push the government to the wall.”

Shehu stated that the Shiites would see the Buhari administration’s preference for persuasion and its determination to “close this chapter if only they will seize the opportunity and seize the moment.”

He added, “If they decide otherwise and they want to continue attacking the National Assembly, throwing stones at the police and burning down police vehicles and they think the army and the police are meek and powerless, they shouldn’t test those elements.”

Shehu also asked the media to focus on the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari and not the insecurity troubling the nation.

The President’s spokesman said more people were killed in Nigeria under former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as the previous administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

He, however, said people had forgotten the dark past where Nigeria was before the coming of Buhari in May 2015.

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