Religious leaders in the 19 Northern states under the auspices of Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) led thousands of protesters to the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja to protest the activities of the islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
Carrying various placards with inscription such as “Terrorism is not part of our culture”, “We want the IGP to act now”, Religious extremism and intolerance must be discouraged” among others, the elders want the Federal Government to put an end to the crises .
In the last two weeks, the IMN has embarked on massive protest to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention over confrontation with the Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai in Zaria, which led to the killing of many people.
Led by its President, Bishop Musa Fomson, he expressed worries that the massive protest of IMN from Zaria to Abuja to call for the release of their leader may be hijacked by hoodlums to forment trouble.
Bishop Fomson in the protest letter submitted to the office of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said the IMN, also known as Shi’ite should allow the law to take its course since the Kaduna State judicial Commission of Inquiry has submitted it’s report.
Bishop Fomson said, “The Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into this matter has submitted its report, which we think should be bring closer to the matter.
Any further agitation that anyone has should now be addressed by institutions of the state especially in view of the fact that the Commission has presented its report to Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
“Those that have grievances can therefore approach the court to air them even as we recognize that national interest and security will play crucial roles in what the court and even the military decide.
“We have however seen that the IMN as a sect is bent on fomenting trouble with the controversial trek its members are undertaking from Kaduna to the FCT. The trek was preceded and is being backed with demonstrations in several cities of the northern states. From our point of view this is a dangerous exercise for a group that has never agreed to sign up to mutually respecting the rights of other faiths, sects or denomination.
“We believe their history with other Nigerians wherever their members gather in large number should have dissuaded them from attempting this Abuja stunt.
“This is why we are today staging this march to draw attention to the provocative activities of this Islamic Movement in Nigeria, which has been prohibited across the 19 northern states. We are telling Nigerians now that there is imminent security risk in the face of the freedom with which the IMN peddles extremism, terrorism and killings in the north without police intervention.
“We demand that the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris immediately act to forestall whatever mayhem IMN member are planning. We also demand that the Northern Governors’ Forum take steps to arrest the growth of extremism being promoted by this sect”.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Habila Joshak who received the protesters on behalf of the IGP promised to act on their request.