Nasir El Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has officially declares the largest Shi’ite sect in Nigeria, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, an “insurgent group”.
The declaration is contained in a white paper released by the Kaduna State government on Monday, December 5, 2016.
“For all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such,” the government said in the white paper. “The sheer numbers of IMN members congregating in Zaria from across the country that night, with many bearing arms, was such that the Nigerian Army was in no position to accurately determine how armed and organised they were and had to be concerned on what their intention for Zaria was.”
The government also said the detained Shiite leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, will be held responsible for all acts carried out by the group’s members and went on to say that the IMN is not a registered organisation.
“The IMN is an unregistered organisation that cannot be sued. Therefore, all IMN members and its leadership are jointly and severally liable for all violations of the law in the last 30 years, and are therefore responsible for the clashes and its consequences,” the government said.
“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky. He therefore bears responsibility for all the acts of lawlessness committed by the organisation and should therefore be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”
In the white paper, the state government also indicated it may not prosecute the soldiers involved in the killing of over 300 members of the IMN in December last year, but may leave their prosecution to the federal government.
You may download the White Paper HERE.
Zakzaky has been detained since December 2015 by the secret police, the State Security Services, after being arrested in a midnight raid, along with his wife. The Nigerian Army invaded the Muslim cleric’s home after a street confrontation with some youth said to be members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
An Abuja court, last week, ordered his immediate release and that of his wife and awarded them N50 million damages for violation of their human rights. The government has disobeyed the court order and Zakzaky remains in unlawful detention.