We Ban IMN, Not Shiite, Says Kaduna Government
The Kaduna state government on Wednesday clarified the recent ban on Shiite Islamic sect, saying that only the Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky's group known as Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) was outlawed.
Making the clarification at a news conference at the Government House, Kaduna, spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan said other groups in the Shiite tradition other than Zakzaky's IMN are excluded from the ban and are free to practice their faith without injuring the right of others.
According to Aruwan, "the IMN was never a registered organisation and it refused to conduct itself with full adherence to the laws of this state”.
He stressed that the IMN blithely ignored the law and neglected the obligations of civility.
“Other groups in the Shia tradition are active in Nigeria. Like adherents of all other faiths, they are free to practice their creed without injuring the rights of others” Aruwan said.
He noted that Kaduna state has suffered and endured too many calamities, triggered by persons and groups that insist on foisting their faith or political preferences on others, pointing out that in a any civilised society, every assertion of rights by a citizen is done with full acknowledgement of, and respect for the rights of other citizens.
He explained the ban on the IMN was misconstrued to mean a a ban on the Shiite, explaining that government is concerned with the IMN led by El-Zazzaky and not with other Shiites groups who operates within the law.
He also announced the official release of the Gazette banning the IMN, saying that "No citizen or group of persons can decide to disobey a valid law, without expecting that law enforcement will do its work”.
He said the government “did not and cannot ban any religion, but it has a duty to declare as unlawful any group that threatens peace and security .”
The government also warned against mob action against anybody, and urged that all acts of acts of illegality by any person or group should be reported
To security agencies.
“We have warned that mob action will not be permitted under any guise. The duty of every citizen is to report every illegal action or
suspicious activity to the security agencies” he said.