By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In a swift response to the announcement of the Kaduna State Government that has made their group an outlaw, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ites has dared the pronouncement, saying constitutionally they cannot be outlawed.
Their position was conveyed through a statement signed by ABUL-FADL FOUNDATION, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
According to the statement, as law abiding citizens that practice their faith in public, they are entitled to some freedom and liberties as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.
“The self-centred Governor and his so called members of the Kaduna State Executive Council blindly fails to make a deliberation on the over 1,000 IMN members killed. They subjectively failed to approve any form of stigma (no matter how little) to the Nigerian army as the primary perpetrators of the Zaria incident.
“They failed to quote from the constitution where the army institution is permitted to attack unarmed civilians with sophisticated weapons such as RPG’s. They also subjectively failed to cite sections of the constitution that lawfully permit the state government to engage in demolition of personal belongings and worshipping centres without court proceedings.
“The biased Members of the Kaduna State Executive Council failed to highlight a section and sub-section of the constitution that carries the concept of ‘Protective Custody’,” the statement said.
It explained that the Kaduna State Executive Council failed to address the aforementioned questions, they can conclude that the law to ban IMN is guided by unlawful decision of subjective minds.
“The decision is nothing but a practical demonstration of a state acting on a foreign script to cut off the Islamic movement in Nigeria by all available means. As the fundamental rights of the IMN are woefully infringed and subjectively not addressed, the decision of the state government is not worthy of conformity,” it alleged.
It said that it is an awkward decision to forcefully attempt to bury an ideology.
“No amount of hatred or biased decision can fight an ideology to finish. Islamic movement is an ideological movement not a party or corporate body that operates in anonymity. The guiding principles of the movement are those principles as prescribed by the Islamic faith.
“The IMN is philosophically oriented from the philosophy of Islam and a movement fully guided by Islamic law. States place interests such as national security or economy, and the cultivation of international relations, above human rights. Popular consciousness of rights is often dulled by ethnic conflicts or the burden of ‘traditional’ values and authority. Of course, the only way to describe the newly issued statement of the Kaduna State government is by revisiting the concept of human right in an objective sense.
The IMN accused the Kaduna State Government of being extremely hostile to the group, hence failing to consider the process of making them criminal, which is therefore, a
process of tagging, defining, identifying, segregating, describing, emphasizing, evoking the very traits that are complained of.
“Many episodes of norm violation – from unlawful procession to unlawful use of public space – often provoke little reaction from the general public and have little effect, because such passing episodes are called the primary deviance. But what happens if other people take notice of the deviation of ‘Power Elites’ and make something of it.
If, for example, people begin to describe the state as a violator of the fundamental human rights of its citizens, or the state as the mastermind of arson, massacre, and creating a mass grave for over 300 victims of massacre. Then the state may become embittered to commit other offenses in order to conceal the initial deviation.
“In a swift response to the subjective decision of the Kaduna state government to ban the IMN in the state and declaring it as an unlawful society, we come to understand that the state government is trying to coercively create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders.
“The state government mentioned that the decision was born out of the recommendations of the Kangaroo Committee set up by the state government to investigate the disastrous December 2015 Zaria massacre, which is fully undertaken by men of the Nigerian military.”