Cen­tre writes U.S., in­sists Shi’ites are harm­ful pro­test­ers

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja

Agroup, the Save Hu­man­ity Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre (SHAC), has writ­ten the United States of Amer­ica over al­leged ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties of mem­bers of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria (IMN), oth­er­wise known as Shi’ites.

The cen­tre specif­i­cally frowned at the re­cent protests staged by the Shi’ites which led to loss of lives and crip­pled com­mer- cial ac­tiv­i­ties in Abuja.

In the let­ter signed by its Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Dr. Grace Akatu, SHAC urged the United States to speak on the side of truth by urg­ing an end to what it de­scribed as ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties of IMN and its mem­bers in Nige­ria.

“The nat­u­ral re­ac­tion from any pa­tri­otic Nige­rian with knowl­edge of the IMN vi­o­lence would be to con­demn many of these state­ments as med­dling in Nige­ria’s af­fairs with­out the ben­e­fit of facts, but we ap­pre­ci­ate that coun­tries that took time to urge cau­tion have facts at their dis­posal…

“Far from be­ing ‘harm­less pro­test­ers’, IMN mem­bers that in­vaded Abuja have only one in­tent, which is to un­leash ter­ror on the law abid­ing res­i­dents of the city.

“The IMN leader, Mr. Ibra­heem El-za­kyzaky, is not be­ing held by Abuja res­i­dents but by law en­force­ment agen­cies that have ar­raigned him be­fore a court of com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion. It is, there­fore, the height of mis­chief for IMN ex­trem­ists to oc­cupy the streets of Abuja, crip­ple busi­nesses and de­stroy pri­vate prop­erty with­out law en­force­ment agents step­ping in to pro­tect Nige­ri­ans. If the po­lice and army did not step in to de­fend Nige­ri­ans and pre­vent the sect from over­run­ning the city, they would have failed in their duty,” the let­ter read in part.

Akatu said the in­ter­ven­tion of the po­lice, which was over­whelmed, thereby ne­ces­si­tat­ing the in­volve­ment of the army, was a ne­ces­sity ow­ing to the sta­tus of IMN as an out­lawed group.

“This places IMN a mere one level be­low be­ing de­clared a ter­ror group even though its ac­tions in the re­cent weeks have au­to­mat­i­cally be­stowed this sta­tus on its mem­bers.

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