Sunday, December 27, 2015 8:48 pm
Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ite group, on Sunday, debunked allegation that the sect members held Zaria community hostage over the past 20
The group, in a rejoinder, signed by Ibrahim Musa, the President, Media Forum of the Islamic Movement, claimed its members have rather contributed to the economy and growth of Zaria and its residents.
According to him, any gathering of the Islamic Movement in Zaria where at least three million members attend, every member spends at least N100, therefore N300 million is spread among the said residents who claimed to be placed under bondage.
“Contrary to the purported lies by the faceless group, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky had lived with Gyallesu residents in Zaria happily despite attempts by security operatives to cause disharmony at various times.” He stated.
The spokesman said from the way El-Zakzaky exchanged pleasantries and gifts during festivities as can be proved from the Movement’s websites over the years, it is evident that the Shiites are peace loving people.
He also narrated that members of Shiite in Zaria have engaged in provision of free social services to the community, including water, sanitation and healthcare to neighbourhoods. They named another beneficiary: Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika near Zaria, where the Movement catered for patients stranded by health workers strikes on various occasions .
He therefore said it is absolutely mischievous and ridiculous for anyone to claim that residents have been placed under bondage for 20 years.
“More so, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have over the years embarked on a campaign of voluntary blood donation at each of the Ashura programs, not only in Zaria, and this could be testified to by the National Blood Transfusion Commission which had issued letters of acknowledgment every year for the past three years to the revered leader for such contribution to humanity. Who knows whether those Soldiers that came to kill us or their relatives might have even been saved by our own blood in the past? Musa questioned.
He stated that it was not a coincidence that El-zakzaky’s house was a place of refuge when there was crises in Zaria such as the election crisis of 2011. He added that most Christians in the area ran there during crises periods for protection, adding, “It is important that all well meaning Nigerians stand against this foreign-sponsored agenda of the Nigerian government. Nigeria should embrace all its components through dialogue, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.”
The spokesman argued that its leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky is not a sectarian leader and does not have or belong to any sect.
He stated further that attention of Shiite members have been drawn to headlines in major Nigerian newspapers of a news item on their front pages of Sunday 27th December editions calling on the federal government to ban what they called “EL ZAKZAKY SECT”.
He said the way major Nigerian newspapers carried this news item mostly on their front pages, shows that it is a carefully calculated scheme by the perpetrators of the brutal Zaria massacre to further impose their evil agenda in Nigeria.
“The faceless group referred to as “Zaria Residents” has no identity and does not represent all the Nigerians resident in Zaria but the mischief of their sponsors to make such a proclamation that made front pages in most Nigerian dailies.” He said.
He hinted that El-zakzaky leads an Islamic Movement that has millions of Nigerians that included both Shi’ah and Sunni Muslims and they have warm association with various Christian groups in Nigeria.
“The IMN, in the yearly AlQuds Day procession, draws attention to pathetic plight of oppressed Palestinian Muslims and Christians under inhuman Israeli occupation, where the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Muslims are Sunni Muslims. The IMN had staged yearly peaceful rallies in their support for the past 30 years.”