Yesterday 29/10/2018 the Nigerian Army after a brutal clampdown on a peaceful mourning procession of the Islamic Movement In Nigeria and killing at least 20 and injuring several others released a press statement claiming that some of its troops were attacked by members of the Movement.
It shamelessly claimed that their troops were deployed on routine duty at Kugbo/Karu bridge checkpoint of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) when the Members of the Movement attacked them. Had it not been that it was similar to the one they released after they killed six members of the Islamic Movement at Zuba, Abuja, wherein they seek to justify the savagery they meted upon us, we wouldn’t have bothered to reply them. All the parameters surrounding the incident only proved that the entire incidences were deliberate and preplanned, confirming information the movement had that they were deployed to kill Shiah members who were coming to Abuja from Maraba.
Parts of the concocted lies contained in the Army statement that immediately followed the brutal clampdown to mischievously deceive the public reads: “The sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after over running the Police Force. The Police withdrew back to own troops position to join efforts to repel them.
They fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle canisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with dangerous objects and other dangerous items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic. However, Troops repelled the attack in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force to stop the situation from further deteriorating. Unfortunately, during the encounter 3 members of the sect were killed while 4 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility.” The above assertion by the Nigerian Army is an attempt by them to turn the victims into villains.
There is no iota of truth in what they dished out to the public to justify their unjustifiable act of killing defenseless citizens who have trekked peacefully for over three hours without any incident from Maraba Bus stop, only to find their path barricaded with armored vehicles and fully armed troops that resumed killing without any provocation. It was the troops who blocked the highway to prevent members of the Islamic Movement from entering Abuja for the Arba’een commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain AS.
This is an act of provocation to deny people their right to peaceful assembly; hence there is no way it can be justified. In the first place the Army is not supposed to be drafted to a scene of peaceful protest; this is the norm in civilized climes. We wonder why it is different here, a country that claims to be following democratic principles. Also the claim by Army that some of us carried arms and fired at them is a pigment of their imagination.
The Islamic Movement has never carried any arms, and for someone to come out in broad daylight to accuse us of carrying weapons is a blatant lie. However we believe the hawks within the security networks of the country have been planning to plant some of their agents during our peaceful marches, so that they can avail them with an opportunity of accusing us of carrying arms and causing mayhem. We reject these in totality. We also view this act as a deliberate genocide perpetrated by the Nigerian regime.
We hereby call on Nigerians, the International Communities and right groups to raise their voices against the etra-judicial and brutal bloodletting perpetrated by the Nigerian Army with the consent of the regime which has deliberately turned its face to the other side as innocent citizens get butchered on the streets while exercising their constitutional rights to assemble and religion. We also call on the federal government to stop sending its security agents to kill us, while at the same time we see other citizens protesting without being killed in this country.
This is clear deceit and double standards. The fact that the business of the army is the protection of the territorial integrity of the country is enough to show the illegality of sending heavily armed soldiers in combat mode to disperse peaceful procession of men, women and children. Once again we will not relent in our effort to get our voices heard hence, we call for the immediate and unconditional release of our Leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and other illegally detained members of the Movement.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA