Shiites protests: International Centre for Justice reveals main sponsors of IMN, advises Buhari on how to handle it

The International Centre for Justice, ICJ, (Africa Regional Affairs) has condemned the murder of Precious Owolabi, a member of the National Youth Service Corps attached to Channels TV, during a clash between security personnel and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Monday in Abuja, FCT.

ICJ disclosed that the killings and destruction of properties have effectively moved IMN from the band of an organization protesting for rights restoration to one that can officially be designated a terrorist group, adding that to the extent that it receives resources from Iran across borders qualifies it as an international terrorist organization.

The group also condemned in its totality the growing spate of sectarian extremism across the world and particularly in Nigeria where the IMN group now targets security agencies that have the responsibility of stopping its members from spreading chaos in that country.

Mark Omita, Vice President (Africa Affairs) of the group in a statement issued in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, equally condemned persons, groups or nations that Promote IMN’s brand of terrorism through the support being extended to the group in violation of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

ICJ also advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to promptly withdraw the “directive not to engage” given to law enforcement agencies in order for them to be able to deploy legitimate force in dealing with IMN attacks.

The statement reads, “The International Centre for Justice, ICJ, has been updated on another incident in Nigeria in which sectarian Shiites members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on Monday July 22, 2019 attempted to repeat an invasion of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Members of the IMN were reported to have attacked other locations in Nigeria’s capital Abuja when they were unable to overrun the parliament in line with their original plan. The arson, destruction of government vehicles and those of the civilian population in Monday’s attack is noted.

“This latest attack adds a new layer of concern to the apprehension previously expressed about the worsening activities of IMN in Nigeria, which had accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of sponsoring the group’s activities. Particular attention is paid to the escalation of IMN aggression from Iran against countries that are working to hold it to account for illegally developing nuclear weapons.

“The activities of IMN. whether freely of the volition of its members or tele-guided by Iran, is a danger to Africa’s most populous nation and the West-African sub-region, which is already fragile as country governments strive to get rid of terrorist groups operating around the Lake Chad Basin and Northern Mali. The region and the world in general does not the need another terror group to add to the list of those that must be hunted down for other citizens to be safe.

“ICJ strongly advises the Federal Government of Nigeria to promptly withdraw the ‘directive not to engage’ given to law enforcement agencies in order for them to be able to deploy legitimate force in dealing with IMN attacks. Security personnel should be allowed to respond to threats as firmly as required and quickly too. A key message the government should be sending to IMN and other groups that may have plans of embracing its brand of violence is that the state’s monopoly of violence exists to safeguard civilian population from violence.”

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