Army/Shiite Clash: Hearings And Attestations Update
On Thursday in Kaduna, attestations and hearings continued in order to look into the 12th-14th December, 2015 clash between the Nigeria Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) national headquarters, Zaria branch, and also an NGO (Centre for Human Resource Development and Empowerment Initiative) made presentations as stakeholders in the inquiry process before the commission. Below are briefs of their presentations.
Centre for Human Resource Development and Empowerment Initiative: Executive Director of the Centre, Mohammed Ali, made the presentation. He was a former Minority Leader in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
- In his presentation, he said IMN has intention of forming a state within a state in Nigeria, because they have representations in form of governors (Ameer) and councilors in all the states of the country, including the FCT.
- According to him, the movement has followership in Nigeria numbering about 3.5 million; and the leader also recruits boys as young as 10yrs from Niger and Chad for a return of N100,000 to be recruited into the group.
- IMN gets an indirect funding through the Iranian Embassy officials in Abuja, who are known as local handlers and are Iranians.
- His findings reveals that, the movement is an illegal organization, because it is not registered with the Corporate Affairs office in Nigeria nor with the Islamic Movement for Africa, noting that, Islamic Movement Association of Nigeria is the known registered body in Nigeria, which has an office in Lagos, not IMN.
- He described Elzakzaky as an ‘impostor,’ who alongside his members hold no allegiance to any authority other than the Movement.
- Their activities posed a great threat to the collective existence of Nigeria as an entity; saying, while doing their processions or match-pass, they always carry Iranian flag – not Nigeria’s, on the soil of the country.
- If government does not do anything about their activities, it can become a menace that will be more than Boko Haram because members of the movement receive military training in warfare, has camouflages and weapons.
- He gave pictures and video clips as further evidence showing Hizbullah brigade of the movement having processions and receiving trainings.
- He also gave an instance that happened on 26thOctober, 2010, where weapons were intercepted in Lagos and this was later traced to be connected to IMN and the Iranian government.
- On any members known to him in which their activities assisted in fueling the crisis, Ali said he knows of Prof. Dahiru Yahaya of Bayero University Kano, and also an Ameer in Kaduna, Murhtar Sahabi.
Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) National Headquarters: JNI national Headquarters made its presentation through the National Secretary, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.
- Aliyu said, JNI is an umbrella and supreme body of Islam in Nigeria that regulates Islamic activities. IMN does not recognized it, neither is it registered with the body; all efforts aimed at making it register proved abortive.
- He accused Shiite of trying to make Nigeria a Lebanon where they can have a government within a government.
- He also stressed that, IMN is getting direct funding from the Iranian Government – It is very clear that leader of the Movement, Ibraheem Elzakzaky, has never engaged in any business venture nor is he a civil servant; as such, the source of money he gets and lavishes on the movement is questionable.
- JNI, however, recommended the creation of the Ministry for Religious Affairs to checkmate excesses of clerics in the country, and urged government to always take proactive measures on recommendations made as they have made recommendations in the past regarding IMN but government was silent about it.
JNI, Zaria Branch:
- JNI, Zaria Branch, through its chairman, Abdullahi Yahaya, said as a corporate body of Islamic Body in Zaria, Elzakzaky has never recognized them.
- He said the movement hosted Persian flags in their Temple in Husainiyya, which is a sign that, they have no respect for any given authority in Nigeria.
- He described the movement as a rebellious movement that is against any power in Nigeria.
- According to him, activities of the movement in Nigeria started in the early 1980s when the leader, Elzakzaky, was a student in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he started having some kind of relationship with the Iranian government, which was not concealed like now.
- He also noted that the body has received various complaints between the Shiite and other Muslim groups, but after lodging complaints to the Police, it was treated casually.
- He presented copies of Almizan newspapers and video clips to the chairman of the commission to further buttress what he has in his memoranda.
Chairman of the Commission, Mohammed Lawal Garba, at the end of the Thursday hearing adjourned proceedings to Monday 11th April, for the continuation of presentations.