Governor Nasir el-Rufa’I of Kaduna state has accused members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites, of not recognizing Muhammadu Buhari as the president of the country as well as him as the governor of the state.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, el-Rufa’I said that the group was outlawed by the state government because its leader Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky and members have refused to respect constituted authorities and their activities amount to running a parallel government against the state.
“The IMN does not recognise the constitution of Nigeria, they do not recognise Buhari as president of Nigeria, they do not recognise me as the Governor of Kaduna state. Because they have their governor, yes, they had, I think he was killed during the clash.”
He said the IMN apart from being an illegal religious organisation, was in the habit of harassing and intimidating members of the public with impunity for several years.
Trouble started last December when members of the sect allegedly blocked the Kaduna-Zaria Road and denying access to the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Burutai.
After the road standoff, security operatives mainly soldiers stormed the colony of the sect leaving about 300 dead which Amnesty International said were buried in mass graves.
Since then, the sect and security operatives have been having running battles in Kaduna and Kano with over ten Shi’ites killed in the second week of November in Kano in a standoff with the police.