The Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria, have asked the Federal government, to impose tougher sanctions, against members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN. The call, the group said, is based on recent activities of members of the sect in Abuja, where the group has occupied and has held daily violent protests for nearly three months, leading to confrontations between members of the group, and security agencies, in the nation’s capital, saying it has become a security risk, for the ordinary citizens of the country.
In a statement issued on Monday, the group’s Convener, Comrade Odeyemi Oladimeji, urged the Federal government, to immediately curtail the ugly situation in order to avoid what happened previously between the members of the sect, and the security forces in Zaria.
“Nigerians are aware of the menace being constituted by the activities of these people, particularly the modus operandi of their daily protests in Abuja and if care is not taken, and they maintain their culture of blocking roads, disturbing citizens from going about their lawful businesses and confronting security agencies, we can only imagine the consequences on the he nation’s capital,” the group asserted.
Odeyemi said the federal government owes it a constitutional responsibility, to protect Nigerians from the violent extremism being promoted by the sect, under the guise of religious freedom.
“We wish to remind the Federal government, that with the security challenges facing the country, the message must be sent out clearly that no religious group, fundamentalist association or persons, is above the law. Anyone whosoever attempt to further compromise our collective security as a people, should be made to answer for their actions.” While also calling on some unpatriotic individuals and otherwise learned people who are giving covert support for these violent and dangerous sect to have a rethink, that, our Nation’s unity, security and sovereignty is greater than any partisan or pecuniary interest.
The group further urge Nigerians need to be reminded, that members of the banned IMN, have history of face-offs, with military and security operatives. In fact the IMN have made an attempt on the life of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai These it said, were not unconnected with their penchant for obstructing public roads and depriving other Nigerians of the right of way, and making attempt to create a nation within the Nigerian nation.
He said, “They are able to do this by resorting to violence and considering the extreme nature of the demand they are making, it may not be impossible for the group, to unleash terror on the FCT, in a dimension that may not be quantifiable soonest.”
They group emphasised that the daily protest by the sect is now being used to recruit idle youths, a situation it said was similar to how the dreaded Boko Haram that is currently threatening the peace of the nation, emerged.
“In the meantime, we are calling on the security agencies to address the threat posed by the IMN continue hostage on the Federal Capital, because of the danger it poses to national security and religious tolerance.”