El-Zakzakky: Anti-IMN protesters take over NASS

….say movement remains a political group

Commercial activities in the Federal Capital city were on Tuesday halt momentarily following a protest against the menace of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, INM.

The protest, which was championed by the Concerned Women/Africa Arise for Change Network was well attended by angry Nigerians, who insisted the activities of INM have political undertones.

The tall took off at Unity Fountain and is terminated at the National Assembly complex.

Speaking during the well-attended rally, Princess Ajibola, convener of the group, called on the National Assembly to pass a resolution, compelling the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to file a suit for the court to declare IMN a terrorist organization so that law enforcement agencies can better respond to the threat it poses to the country.

Her speech below.

Concerned Nigerians Women and the Africa Arise for Change Network are staging this rally today in order to put it on the record that we are not in any way part of the conspiracy of silence in the glaring threat now posed to the country by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

Nigerians and the entire world was last week threated to the macabre spectacle of IMN members invading the National Assembly, the most important site for our democracy. While every Nigerian has the right to protest to the National Assembly, the intention of the IMN militants was very obvious because they were there to sack the parliament as demonstrated by their attack on the policemen on duty.

IMN attacks on members of the public and security operatives is not new. Killing law enforcement officers is also not new to them. What however became alarming in this instance was the sheer intensity of the attack during which they shot several policemen in addition to wounding others with catapults and cudgels.

It is laughable that the IMN extremists resorted to playing the victim after their attempt to overthrow the National Assembly failed. Had they succeeded in entering the chambers and killing our federal lawmakers like they planned they would have by now been declaring that Nigeria is a Shia Republic. Further proof that they intended to overthrow the government was their decision to target the Federal Secretariat within hours of attacking the National Assembly. This was the IMN militants targeting the buildings that implement the policy of the executive arm of government. With this pattern, it is a matter of time before they launch crippling attacks against the court in order to instil fear in the judiciary.

We have heard the lies that have been repeated over and over by IMN sympathizers that the group is harmless and non-violent. Our rally today offer a demonstration to such people on how non-violent marches are held. Peaceful protests does not involve protestors menacing other citizens, chanting anti-government slogans and definitely does not involve attempting to forcefully take over government building, neither does it involve killing policemen that are on legitimate duty for the country.

We therefore question the conspiracy of silence by those who think Nigeria deserves to have another terror group when the vestiges of Boko Haram is still being eradicated from their remaining strongholds. We condemn those that have obstinately refused to see nothing wrong with recent attempts by IMN insurgents to take over the National Assembly. Equally condemnable are those that are advocating for the extremists to be pampered and allowed to wreck the country for other law abiding citizens.

This is why we are dismayed at the discovery that disgruntled and defeated political actors were the ones that sponsored factions within the IMN to carry out the attack. It has been revealed that associates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Atikulooters are behind the recent wave of coordinated protests across Nigerian cities by the IMN. We gathered that the objective is for the IMN extremist to sack the government so that the opposition can exploit the ensuing confusion to demand for the installation of an interim government.

Some members of the National Assembly that were in on the game went on the defensive for the IMN insurgents when the invasion was discussed on the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives. These are the lawmakers that would have called for an interim government had IMN succeeded with the evil plot it was executing on behalf of the opposition.

The failure of the plot has however seen the opposition accusing the incumbent government of harshly clamping down on IMN extremists while ignoring their treasonable acts. The opposition, in its criticism, largely ignored the shooting of policemen by the IMN fanatics. It glossed over the attempt to take over the National Assembly as if it was a natural everyday occurrence. It is interesting that while the IMN leader, Mr. Ibraheem El-Zakkay, is being tried for treason in Kaduna, his radicalized members are protesting in Abuja, in yet another confirmation that it is high politics at play. The opposition knows that it is responsible for this latest mayhem and has continued to wrongly accuse the government. This attitude derived from the fact that IMN was running errands for the opposition.

Concerned Nigerians Women and the Africa Arise for Change Network use this opportunity to warn the compromised members of the National Assembly that are collaborating with IMN that their plot is no longer secret. Details of their deal with Atiku’s associates and the IMN are well known and will be revealed at the right time. They still have time to team up with their right thinking colleagues and do the proper thing before it is too late.

The right thing to do is for the National Assembly to pass a resolution compelling the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to file a suit for the court to declare IMN a terrorist organization so that law enforcement agencies can better respond to the threat it poses to the country. This is the befitting response from Senators and members of the House of Representatives, whose sacred institution was violated by these aspiring terrorists.

We shall keep up this demand until the IMN is designated a terrorist group. We will not stay silent while neo-terrorists destroy our democracy.

See more photos from the protest below.

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