Home FEATURES America Calls On Nigerian Government To Protect Rights Of Shiite

America Calls On Nigerian Government To Protect Rights Of Shiite

Shiit processionThe United States of America Department of State, has called on the Nigerian government to protect and defend the rights of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiite.
The US said that members of the Shiite community, like other religious communities, have the right to assemble, peacefully express their religious beliefs, and mark their celebrations.
In a statement by the Spokesperson of the Department of State, John Kirby, the US said that it is also incumbent on members of the IMN and all Nigerian citizens to respect the rule of law and cooperate with the police as they attempt to maintain public order.
“We continue to urge the government to ensure accountability for the deaths of more than 300 IMN members during December 15, 2015 clashes between the IMN and security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State.
“We also call on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law.”
The statement said that the United States is deeply concerned by the deaths of dozens of Nigerians during clashes between individuals participating in a Shiite procession and the Nigerian Police Force in Kano State on November 14.
It said that while the matter is still under investigation, “we are troubled by the apparent disproportionate response by the police. This is the latest in a series of violent incidents between security forces and members of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), some of which have resulted in deaths, destruction of property, and the arbitrary detention of IMN members.
“The United States calls for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tensions, and greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.”
Meanwhile, the Shiite members have alleged that a combined team of security and Kaduna State government personnel have demolished the Fudiyya Islamic School at Zaria and the Husainiyya in Saminaka.
The sect, in a statement said that the Fudiyya Islamic School in Zaria is a registered educational facility of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria with nursery, primary and secondary sections with hundreds of pupils studying there.
“The Husainiyya in Saminaka was under construction when the Wahhabis lured the KDSG to stop the construction. The government used state resources and filed a case before the court and a court order was issued for the construction to be stopped which the IMN complied with.
“The KDSG never issued any notice before this demolition. They didn’t also show any court order authorizing them to that effect. They simply came with bulldozers along with heavily armed security personnel and commenced the demolition of the Islamic center.
“In the process of demolishing the Fudiyya School in Zaria they shattered the tomb of late Alhaji Hamid Danlami which the bulldozer ran over. The security agents became spectators when miscreants at the scene were busy looting and carting away valuables of the school.
“We are aware that the Nasir El-Rufai-led Kaduna state government is in a mission trying to provoke IMN members to justify another killing spree on them having failed in an earlier attempt using security men dressed as thugs to attack, kill and loot property of IMN members.
“We are also aware that the state government is planning to clampdown on IMN members in the state, killing as many as possible in the most cruel means possible, in order to scare people away from the IMN. The Elrufai government is also wasting scarce state resources in sponsoring some dubious religious clerics to preach hate and enmity in the state, rather than investing in solving the myriads of problems bedeviling the state.” [myad]

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