THE Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said it has an Information from a reliable source that the Nigerian Police Force was plotting attack its members as they embark on their annual Ashura procession on Tuesday, 10th September.
The Movement also is known as Shi’ites said their source revealed to them that the Police had concluded to arrest and shoot those who participate in the procession.
Recall that the IMN and the Nigerian Police had been at loggerheads over the continued protest of the Movement demanding for the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife who have been in detention for over 4 years despite the court order, granting the duo bail.
The statement which was signed by Abdullahi Musa on behalf of the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement in Nigeria explained that “the word ‘Ashura’ is derived from an Arabic word, Ashara, meaning ten, and in history, it refers to the 10th day of the 1st month of the Islamic calendar. It is a day for the mournful commemoration of the brutal killing of Imam Hussain bn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S). Imam Hussain was assassinated by Yazid bn Muawiyyah at Karbala in 61 A.H.
“To this pertinence, Ashura is a universal event which non-Muslims do participate, thus the mourning is global. For the past 40 years, Muslims have been conducting Ashura mournful processions in this part of the world. Last year, September 2018 the procession was conducted in Abuja and many other cities across Nigeria, including FCT, which ended peacefully without any hitch from the Police”.
He noted that “unfortunately, however, the Police are prepared this time around to launch an unprovoked attack on the same mourners from whom they chose to look the other way last year”.
“It is worthy of note that we are Muslims, and Ashura procession in mourning is one of our religious rights. We cannot afford to allow politicians, pseudo-politicians as well as the police to deprive us of our rights to freedom of thought and religion”, he added.
The statement therefore said “in view of the foregoing, we wish to invite people of conscience, religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) International Community, Journalists and the entire public to come and monitor the conduct of the Ashura procession in order to expose those that are so desperate to cause violence for a pittance.
“It is pertinent to remind the Police that detaining more than 60 Free-Fakzaky protesters among whom there are young ladies and minors with life-threatening injuries, denying them proper medication ever since 22nd July 2019 is a flagrant violation of their fundamental rights”.