Shiites should suspend further protest — TMC
Court rejection of bail may cause more harm
Grant them their right of religious procession— Sheikh Haliru, others

The United States Embassy cautioned both the federal government including the security forces and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN popularly known as Shiites to exercise restraints in order not to escalate the crisis. In a statement sent to Vanguard Facing the Kaaba, the United States Embassy in Nigeria stated that it was concerned by the fatalities as a result of the clashes, urging the government to investigate the clashes and bring all perpetrators of the clashes to book.

The statement reads: ‘’The United States Embassy is concerned by the deaths resulting from clashes between Nigerian security forces and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in areas surrounding Abuja.  We urge Government of Nigeria authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the events and to take appropriate action to hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law.  We urge restraint on all sides.

File Photo: Army-Shi’ites clash in Zaria, Kaduna State

Shiite should suspend further protest — TMC

In view of the rejection of El Zakzaky and his wife’s bail application by Kaduna High Court on Wednesday, several Muslim clerics and groups have bared their minds on the development. The  Amir (President) of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem, has advised the Shiite sect to suspend further protest at this auspicious moment to give peace a chance. Quoting from the Holy Quran, Dr Lukman who is also the co-Chairman (Muslim) of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) Lagos State Chapter, said: “Allah is the source peace: He counsels Muslims to be peaceful in their actions and in-actions.  Specifically,  Allah said:

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them harshly. they say peace”.

“The position of The Muslim Congress is very clear. We describe as unfortunate,  the death of the protesters. Obviously, the situation of the country is tensed and the polity has been unnecessarily heated up by upsurge of politically motivated crises in Kaduna,  Benue and other places. No responsible government would fold its hands to allow crisis to escalate.

The Shiite sect should have shelved its protest at this auspicious moment. Allah is the source peace: He counsels Muslims to be peaceful in their actions and in-actions.  Specifically,  Allah said:

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them harshly. they say peace”.

“The Congress passionately advise the Federal Government to accelerate the trial of Shaykh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky so that he would know his fate.  Nobody is above the law.  If found guilty,  he should bear the brunt and if found innocent, he should be released to enjoy his freedom within the ambit of the law.  His continued incarceration is unhealthy for democracy and good governance.

“To the Shiite, we say,  let us learn to live as civilised people in civilised society. Where your freedom to exercise your fundamental human rights stop,  that is where other people’s rights begin. Closure of roads,  burning of tyres and confronting soldiers and the policemen as reported by the mainstream media are actions that are not in consonance with Islam.

Other Muslims who commented on the rejection of bail application for the Shiite leader and his wife expressed dissatisfaction saying it might ignite more crisis.

An Islamic teacher based in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Ustaz Abdul Waheed Olowo said: “Although the court must be obeyed, some people might begin to think the federal government have hand in it because in the past, they have shown that they were not in a hurry to release him.  Again, from the Shiite members end, they may continue the agitation of the release of their leader.  If protest for the release of their leader continues, there likely to be more violence. That is why we all have to thread with all caution. The court order that he remains in custody throughout the trial and that the prosecutors to produce most of its witnesses to testify in support of the charges made against them may not be satisfactory to the members.

Sheikh Haliru Maraya, a leading scholar in the Tijanniyah Islamic Movement and former Special Adviser on Islamic Matters to Governors Patrick Yakowa and Mukhtar Ramalan Yero said, government also need to recognise the rights of the Shiites members in the expression of their faith.  “They consider the Arbain/ the procession as part of their religious rites, they should allow them to observe uninhibited.

“When I was the SA on Islamic Matters to Governor Yakowa, I listened to them, I ensured that their rights were not denied them. I told them, it was their right to observe procession and we all agreed on a modalities that ensured peace and in the state. So, throughout our time, there was nothing like that. My advice is that government should listen to them and give them their right to procession peacefully,” Maraya said.

El-Zakzaky should be released—Muslim MediaWatch

Also, the Muslim Media Watch group, expressed concern saying another Boko-Haram phenomenon was in the making if urgent steps were not put in place to halt the disturbing trend.

According to the group, “The unrest brewing out of Shi’ite illegal  protest is assuming a worrisome dimension. If this matter is not carefully handled, the Nation could be engulfed with another  insurgency.  With several killings of the sect members by the Military and the Police, we are gradually drifting to another era of terrorism everywhere in the country. “We hereby appeal for the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife. This release should be conditional that he would not be allowed to preach,  his group cannot congregate in his house and he should maintain peace, law and order in his domain. The Government of Kaduna State should also provide him a befitting place of abode  since his former residence has been destroyed. On release, he should be closely monitored so  that he complies with all terms of agreement conditional to his release. However, the trend of agitation by his Group is assuming dangerous dimension that is why MMWG is calling for his conditional release to douse tensions as his death in Security detention could cause instability in Nigeria.(God forbid).

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command recently said that the ban on all forms of processions/demonstrations in Kaduna State is still in force. The Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo gave the warning in a statement issued in Kaduna.

Sabo urged members of the public to note that the ban on all forms of processions/demonstrations in the State is still in force. adding that the police will not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group who deliberately attempt to violate the ban.

“The command wishes to notify the general public to exercise more security consciousness as they go about their daily chores and other lawful businesses,” Sabo said

Sabo appealed to the general public to report suspicious activities or persons around them to the nearest security agency.


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