Proscription of IMN: Matters Arising
Sheriff Quadri started starts the Morning Crossfire by emphasizing on Federal Government banning the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). This part of Islam is also known as the Shiites. The government, through a court order, banned the Group for the violent protest by the Group a few weeks ago, which led to the death of over a dozen people. While the government said that the peaceful protests of Shiites became violent, the Group said the peaceful protesters were attacked by security operatives, therefore leading to violent protests.
The Shiites protested the continued detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzakky who has been detained by the Federal Government of Nigeria since December 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 of his followers for allegedly blocking a road being used by the army chief Tukur Buratai.
Explaining the ban, the presidency said the proscription has nothing to do with banning the larger number of peaceful and law abiding Shiites in the country from practicing their religion. The presidency also said that this is meant to discourage wanton murder and willful destruction of public and private property. It also said that the Group has been taken over by extremists who do not believe in peaceful protests and instead employed violence and arson, driving fear and undermining the rights of others and constituted authority. As it stands now, the IMN remains proscribed.
Wemimo Adewuni emphasizes the latest report that DSS confirms receiving an order to allow Shiites leader Ibrahim ElZakzaky and his wife to travel to India for treatment. DSS also says it is liaising with relevant authorities to ensure compliance.
Barr. Monday Ubani comments regarding the ruling, correcting some errors made by journalists yesterday by calling the court ruling a ban. “What was granted yesterday was leave for the accused person and the wife to go on medical treatment abroad because that has been the application of the counsel to both husband and wife. Since he is charged for murder, he is not granted bail as of right. There has to be solid grounds for bail for someone accused of capital offence. As long as the case is a murder case, the court must look for exceptional grounds to grant him bail. The lawyers have made it clear that he is not receiving adequate treatment, he has been sick, so let him be given some time to take care of medicals,” Ubani says.
He also adds that El-Zakzakky is still in custody even if the travel begins as the security officers have to go with him for treatment. Also, the state officials of Kaduna will accompany him on that journey.
It is said also that El-Zakzakky and his wife have pellets or wounds on their bodies and it has to be determined what the true state of their health is at the moment.
Commenting on that, Achike Chude says that we can only speculate about his true state of health. He says he is not aware whether the pellets-in-his-body story was released by any of his doctors. Further, he says it is clear that “he (El-Zakzakky) will not have adequate care in Nigeria.” Although it is true that those of the federal government officials who said that El-Zakzakky is taking enough treatment in Nigeria themselves don’t take treatments from Nigeria, Chude claims.
The state of healthcare in Nigeria is very dire and Chude reminds Nigerians how doctors at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) threatened to leave the country in masses if equipment are not purchased and conditions of service are not made better. That happened when Babatunde Raji Fashola was still the governeor in Lagos. With that in mind, the argument that El-Zakzakky should go abroad for treatment seems logical. However, another information emanating from his detention is that he has lost one of his eyes through glaucoma and he is in a risk of losing the other eye as well. So another question is; what sort of treatment has he been going through?
Is it right for police to shoot at protesters, even their leaders order them to do so? Will these many deaths that have occurred during these protests be investigated? Is it just for government to ban or proscribe the Shiites for protesting, whether peaceful or violent?
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PROSCRIPTION OF IMN: MATTERS ARISING --- Morning Crossfire with @wemimospot & @SheriffQuadry, alongside @achike12
- Barr. Monday Ubani - Ex Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association
- Achike Chude – Policy & Development Expert/Political Analyst
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka