Following a statement by the Nigerian army that it owes the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) no apology over the December 12 clash which led to loss of lives, the Shiite group has said that the sect was not expecting an apology from the Army, seeing that it had remained “arrogant and uncivil”.
Recall that the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, had said the military did not hold the sect any apology, maintaining that the military could not fold its arms and watch any group or sect threaten the peace and stability of the country.
However, a statement issued by the president of the sect’s media forum, Ibrahim Musa, revealed that the army was still detaining over 700 of its members in various military facilities in Zaria, Jaji and Kaduna.
The group also stated that they have never challenged the peace and stability of the country, adding that their movement believes in extending its messages of justice to all in a peaceful manner.
The statement read, “We have a list of about 700 of our members who are currently missing some of which are in detention with the army at Basawa Barracks, Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria, Jaji Cantonment and 1 Mechanised Division in Kaduna.
“We categorically refute in strong terms the claims of the GOC that none of our members is currently with the military. The army is desperate to cover up its indefensible crime against humanity, indiscriminate killing of defenceless and unarmed civilians in Zaria.
“We challenge the GOC to come up with a single occasion when the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky ever threatened the peace and stability of Nigeria or engaged in any form of violence throughout its 38 years of existence.
“The IMN has never been armed and is not armed and does not operate or support any form of armed struggle. It is rather a movement that believes in extending its message of fairness and justice to all irrespective of sect or religion in a peaceful manner.
“As a matter of policy, the IMN has never and will never engage in any form of violent activities no matter the level of provocation.
“This is evident in the incident of the killing of 34 members of the movement including three biological sons of the leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, by the Nigerian army last year.
“IMN believes that even the Nigerian army was aware that the movement and its members were unarmed and defenseless when they launched their brutal attack of indiscriminate killings of men, women and children, judging by the nature of the attack, which was actually pre-planned.
“It is therefore laughable for the GOC to claim that the army had no issues with the Islamic movement when the army had killed six biological sons of El-Zakzaky, his elder sister and over one thousand of his followers in just 18 months.
“The GOC was actually right in his statement that they ‘know the business of violence’ which was of course what they displayed in Zaria in contravention with the rule of law and order to which he is now trying to convince the world that they are ‘guardians of democracy’ in yet another contradictory statement.
“Still on the army’s ‘guardians of democracy,’ the GOC stated in a sense of arrogance and lack of civility, that they have ‘no apology’ for the killing of over 1,000 unarmed civilians including women and children, we say, in as much as no member of the movement is expecting any apology from the army for its crime in Zaria, he should tell that to God his creator and the creator of those they killed in Zaria.”