Group blames Army, Shiites clash on sect’s lawlessness


File photo of Shiites during a protest

Sequel to the recent clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army in Kaduna Civil Society Organisations have continued to raise concerns in the manner of operations of the sect which they have largely blamed for the recent confrontation.
Lending its voice to this occurrence, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has condemned the attack by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on a military checkpoint and innocent civillians in Zuba area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday describing it as “wicked and totally unacceptable”.
According to them, the attack was an attempt by the outlawed group to invade the nation’s capital with thugs and militants terming the act as “new variant of lawlessness that must not be allowed in any part of the country, least of all in the nation’s capital territory”.
In a statement to Apex News,

CESJET who also reminded Nigerians of the last time the group entered the nation’s capital and the mayhem they experienced as a result, accused the movement of attempting to infiltrate Abuja in order to carry out their initial threat to cause chaos in the city.
“the manner of projectiles and other weapons unleashed on the personnel manning the checkpoint is a clear indication that members of the sect were using the so called ‘Arbaeen Symbolic Trek’ as cover to infiltrate Abuja to begin carrying out attacks as they had previously threatened. The last time members of this outlawed group entered Abuja under the cover of a religious gathering led to weeks of confrontation with security operatives during which they destroyed vehicles parked on the streets  and attacked anyone perceived to be unsympathetic to their cause”. the statemant said in part.
In the statement signed by it Executive Director, Joyce Ogwu, CESJET described the attack the army as wicked, unwarranted and unprovoked while regretting the fact that the sect has been in the tradition of such irresponsible conduct.
“Even if the soldiers manning the check points acted not to allow armed persons free assess into Abuja it does not call for the kind of unwarranted and unprovoked attack unleashed on them by the militant wing of IMN. It is most unfortunate that this is not the first time of deploying violence against an institution of state as they had in the past killed military personnel at will and shoot at anyone that dares to rein them in when they engage in improper conduct” . CESJET alluded.
They called on the  Federal Government to immediately arrest and investigate those that attacked the military checkpoint, the nature of response on the part of the soldiers they attacked and any other aspect that will help prevent the kind of provocation that caused the crisis in Zuba.
However CESJET has commended the army for its role in ensuring safety in the city as according to them even as it acknowledged that the shack points mounted at the city entrance were not meant for the Shiites but to ensure those transporting bombs are not allowed into Abuja.
The group further called on the Armed Forces and all other security agencies to be vigilant suspecting that IMN would likely activate its sleeper cells in the nation’s capital to begin carrying out attacks on innocent citizens in the guise of protesting Saturday’s incident. If its antecedents are anything to go by, the group will attempt to shut down business activities in key parts of the city while attacking security personnel.
This is even as it has warned  residents of Abuja to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons to the appropriate authorities especially since IMN has vowed to bring down hell on the nation’s capital in pursuit of its extremist agenda.


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