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Popular activist blasts Buhari over New Year message

03 January 2017, 17:20

Abuja - Activist Harun Elbinawi has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari for his call on the Shi’a community and Niger Delta militants to embrace peace and abide by the laws of the country.

The president was quoted as saying this in his New Year message to Nigerians issued in Abuja.

Elbinawi said it was “grossly” wrong to equate Islamic Movement of Nigeria and Niger Delta militants on the issue of peace.

“Niger Delta militants are well armed and attack pipelines and oil facilities while IMN is not armed and have never attack any economic facility in Nigeria.”

Elibinawi said the call by Buhari for the Shia community to embrace peace was “groundless.”

“The Nigerian Shia community have always being peaceful,” said Elbinawi.

He said for close to 40 years of its existence the IMN was never part of any tribal or religious conflict in Nigeria.

The activist said when the Nigerian Army allegedly killed 33 IMN members, including three sons of Sheikh Zakzaky during the pro-Palestine AlQuds rally in Zaria in December 2015, the IMN leader called for peace and asked followers against staging protests.

Elbinawi further denounced the call by Buhari that IMN could not be an island as “mischievous.”

“IMN is always part of the Nigerian state,” he said.

“IMN is guided by the eternal words of Imam Ali (as) in its relationship with Nigerians. The Nigerian Muslims are brothers and sisters in faith and Nigerian Christians are brothers and sisters in humanity.”

He recalled the deadly clashes after the army accused IMN members of an attempt on the life of Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

IMN has reported 1 000 members were killed, some burnt alive, and scores arrested.

It is alleged the army burnt down the iconic Zaria Husseiniya a religious centre, burnt down the residence of Zakzaky and desecrated the IMN graveyard.

“To this day, no single person has been arrested by the Nigerian government for the brutal and inhuman massacre,’ said Elbinawi.

- CAJ News

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