Nigeria to proscribe Shiite militant group
London, July 23, 2019 (AltAfrica)-President Muhammadu Buhari is considering the proscription of the militant Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiite movement PREMIUM TIMES has learnt from security and administration sources.
The proscription, which is likely to come in form of an executive order, is expected to be made public in the next 24 hours
An emergency meeting of security chiefs held at the State House late Monday afternoon, and the conclusion was that the Shiite militant group should be declared an illegal organisation in Nigeria.
It is a direct response to the violent protest on Monday that claimed the lives of a top Nigerian police officer, DCP Usman Umar, a Youth Copper journalist with a prominent TV in Nigeria, Channels when members of Shiite militant group took over the streets of central Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
The demonstration was billed as just another instalment of relentless agitation for the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, a Nigerian Shiite cleric who was taken into custody four years ago
Presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, did not immediately return requests for comments about the president’s consideration of a Shiite proscription on Monday night.
Mr El-Zakzaky was arrested following an invasion of his residence in Zaria, northern Nigeria, between December 12-14, 2015.
The official death toll of the invasion, which was carried out by Nigerian soldiers in the dead of the night, was 347 for Shi’a adherents. The IMN said the official death toll was grossly downplayed and insisted more than 1,000 of its members were killed in that single attack.
The military said the protesters had attempted to block the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, from the free passage on a highway that runs through the Shi’a headquarters in Zaria in the evening of December 12, 2015, and soldiers had no choice but to open fire when the Shiites became unruly.
The Buhari administration has long categorised IMN as a violent group and encourages the use of force to suppress its agitations.
“This proscription will put an end to the madness of Shiites in Nigeria,” one of the official sources who confirmed the discussion on the executive order for proscription told PREMIUM TIMES Monday night.
Another source said Mr Buhari would cite the Terrorism Prevention Act to ban the Shiite movement in Nigeria. The law was introduced under President Goodluck Jonathan to proscribe Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation and intensify the crackdown on its members.