The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN. otherwise known as Shiites, has cautioned the Nigerian military to stop using its name to cover up its alleged atrocities.
The group was reacting to the killing of innocent civilians in Sokoto, Sokoto State by airmen of the Nigerian Air Force on October 20, 2019.
Report came that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it was investigating an online report alleging the killing of two persons at Mabera Area of Sokoto Metropolis by its personnel.
Shiites’ position was contained in a press statement signed and made available to DAILY POST by the President Media Forum of the Islamic Movement, Ibrahim Musa on Monday.
The Islamic Movement said the NAF killings in Sokoto should be of concern to everybody because it could happen to anybody.
The statement added, “Following an incident that took place at Mabera area of Sokoto town, Sokoto state, where military men of the Nigerian Air force murdered a mother of seven and a young man for teasing the girlfriend of an officer and in an attempt to cover up for the crime, the military men claimed they thought their victims were members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, we find it pertinent to dissociate the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and its members from the misleading claims of the military men and all forms of crimes whatsoever.
“Media reports say eyewitnesses said the crisis began when a lady, said to be the girlfriend of an officer, was teased by young people in the area which led the lady informing her Nigerian Air force officer boyfriend of what transpired. The officer was reportedly said to have deployed a truckload of Air force personnel to Mabera area who trailed a young aspiring student, Abdulsalam Lawan, who took refuge in a nearby house, killing him and a 40-year-old mother of seven, Maryam Abdulrahman on 20/10/2019.
“It is in an attempt to cover this act of irresponsibility and brutality and sweep it under the carpet, perpetrated by the Nigerian military that the military informed newsmen that they thought their victims were members of the Islamic Movement.
“In as much as the victims involved are not of the Islamic movement, we wish to condemn this act of impunity and extrajudicial killing implemented by the military and draw the attention of Nigerians in particular and the world at large to a dangerous trend they have introduced whereby uniformed men can kill anybody at will and claim that they thought he or she was Shi’ite.
“We hereby call on members of the public to insist that justice should not only be done by prosecuting the officers involved but to also be seen to have been done, even though the Sokoto state government has intervened. This dangerous act of anarchy and lawlessness perpetrated by the military must not be condoned.
“In the recent past since the Zaria Massacre where the Nigerian Army killed over 1000 men, women, and children and gave a flimsy excuse for the genocide, on several occasions, they have engaged in the killing of innocent unarmed members of the Islamic movement and gave false claims to justify it.
“It is now such that the military has erased the empathetic feeling of humanity from the hearts of some Nigerians such that they don’t see anything wrong with extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the military and in some cases even join them to justify it. The killing is now gradually moving beyond the Islamic Movement and anyone could be killed and labelled Shi’ite to justify it even as there is no justification whatsoever, whether moral, religious, legal or civil for the extrajudicial killing of members of the Islamic movement or any other person for that matter. Life is sacred.
“Having stated our stance, we use this opportunity to call for the release of our revered leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky from continued illegal detention even with a standard court order for his release and compensation, and all those detained in undisclosed detention facilities across the country.”