Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN yesterday raised alarm over alleged plans by the Nigerian Army to attack it members in Katsina State.
President of the media forum of the movement, Ibrahim Musa who made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday said reports from Katsina yesterday indicated that the Nigerian Army was amassing troops in an attempt to clampdown on the Islamic movement in the town.
According to him, “Early in the morning, armed troops were seen surrounding the main Juma’at mosque, where a peaceful maulud procession of the daughter of the Prophet, Nana Fatima (AS) was scheduled to take off. Seeing this and due to the peaceful disposition of the Islamic Movement, the take-off venue of this yearly event was changed to another neighbourhood of the town, and the procession went round some major streets of the town and ended without any incident.
“However, to our consternation, reinforcement was brought from neighbouring formations of the army, and roadblocks were mounted on almost all the major roads leading to Katsina city.
“We have been reliably informed that the Army is set to replicate the wanton destruction of lives and properties it carried out in Zaria last December. The Army, it seems, has vowed to attack the Markaz Islamic centre in the town any moment from now, and possibly kill all its occupants and raze it to the ground just as it did to Husainiyya Islamic centre in Zaria.
“The Islamic Movement is amazed at what happened to our fundamental constitutional right to peaceful assembly and practice of religion in a democratic setting. This maulud procession is a yearly event that has been going on in several cities across the nation for decades without any incident, like so many of our educational programmes. Why we should be the subject of brutal attack by the authorities is mind boggling.
“We are of the view that there is a ‘jihadi’ element in the Nigerian Army that wants to hide under the cloak of our secular national army to achieve the clandestine aim of wiping out members of the Islamic Movement all over the federation. If that is the case, they should come out in the open and declare their intentions, since the Nigerian army we know is forbidden to do the bidding of any religious agenda.
“Even as we keep watch of events by the army in Katsina and other places, we wish to reiterate our demand of immediate release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky and other brothers and sisters of the Islamic movement held incommunicado for close to the past four months. They did no wrong; hence they should be set free unconditionally,” Musa stated.

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