By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna.
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has expressed its readiness to carry out this year’s Annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trek despite threats from different quotas to deter them.
The movement through its spokesman, Nasir Mansur, while addressing newsmen in Kaduna, Monday, said, “It should be clear therefore that these threats and many more will not deter us from practicing our faith.
“We therefore call on all people of conscience to speak out against this clear religious discrimination and minority cleansing being embarked upon by the Nigerian government.
“This year, we are aware of evil plots against the Symbolic trek. This we learnt involves a plan by the security forces to attack convoy of trekkers in the name of Boko Haram.
“We are also aware of some sinister plots by security forces to mount check points and hurdles presumably to obstruct people joining others in this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek kicking off in Kano today, Monday as l speak to you.
“Already, there are reports that indicated that soldiers have mounted check points at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe State, and detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek kick off.
“Apparently, these soldiers have some sinister motives as they were overheard scheming to plant weapons in the luggage and theteafter claim that these bags with the weapons belong to members of IMN.
“Throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it has never stockpiled, carried or used weapons. It never had any cause to, even in the face of provocation.
“In previous years, we faced varying degrees of reactions from government and some people. The increasing participation by millions of people in the trek over the years seems to attract severe opposition from some Wahabi/Takfiri adherents and their government allies.
“Some have taken their hatred beyond bounds, which culminated in the detonating of bombs along the Kano route last year killing 23 trekkers. It happened just 10 days before the brutal massacre of our members in Zaria by the Nigerian Army in December last year.
“The Arbaeen trek is not quite new even in this country and it is not a creation of the IMN. Rather, the symbolic trek has been done throughout history and also worldwide in various ways.
“The Arbaeen trek is a religious duty incumbent on all supporters of the holy Household of prophet Muhammad (SAWA) as a sign of solidarity.
“It is a response to a clarion call made by Imam Hussain (AS) the grandson of the Prophet (S) on the plains of Karbala some 1400 years ago, which credible narrations from the Prophet (S) enjoined the faithful to respond to, even if it were to be by crawling.”
The movement assured that they would not relent in their call for immediate and unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.