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El-Zakzakky: PDP group condemns arson, attack on innocent citizens by IMN members
The PDP Rebirth Mandate, has condemned in its entirety the arson and attacks on innocent Nigerians by members of the Ibrahim El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
The group was reacting to the Monday’s attack by the Shiite militants on emergency point of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and innocent citizens leading to deaths.
Reacting to the incident, PDP Rebirth Mandate frowned at the attack, while warning members of the opposition party against sponsoring or participating in the protest by the violent group.
Charles Ukaha, President of the group, who addressed newsmen, called IMN to immediately stop its campaign of violent clashes with the Nigerian public while also halting attacks on law enforcement officers.
Full text of his speech below.
Gentlemen of the press, on Monday July 22, 2019 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) again launched terror attacks against the Nigerian state. As was the case in the recent past, the target of the attack was the National Assembly before security operatives managed to contain them to the Federal Secretariat axis.
Nigerians who were peacefully going about their own legitimate businesses were forced to flee as shot were being fired. Security operatives and paramilitary personnel in the vicinity were seen fleeing with civilians owing to an extant directive not to engage the members. This decision to retreat is highly logical given the casualty recently suffered on their part when IMN members invaded the National Assembly and randomly targeted policemen in a gun attack that resulted in the loss of life and some policemen left with life changing injuries.
The IMN members, similar to what they did in the past, set ablaze a vehicle belonging the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and vandalized vehicles belonging to other Nigerians. We have not arrived at a point where people take to their heels at the mention of IMN. It all echoes the early days of Boko Haram too clearly and it is not a nightmare that any right thinking Nigerian wants to live through again. This is especially so when some representatives of the group have been reported that they have the capacity to blow up the entire Abuja.
The PDP Rebirth Mandate is taking this unprecedented decision to wade into the situation given the reports that have been carried in some quarters that politicians from PDP are the ones sponsoring these attacks on the corporate entity of Nigeria and the wellbeing of millions of Nigerians. Our party has been called names of all sorts because some misguided members that do not know the dangers of supporting a group like IMN or who do not appreciate the full extent of threat it poses to Nigerians. We believe that our stance at this press conference will be instructive as to whether we approve of IMN’s terrorist acts or not.
Nigeria is more important than the political, economic or religious ambition of any individual or group, which is why we believe that the IMN should get all the condemnation it is deserving for its actions against the Nigerian state, irrespective of what the provocation was initially. Assuming their grouse against the nation or government of the day were legitimate pursuing justice with violence and injustice will only further complicate things.
We therefore call on IMN to immediately stop its campaign of violent clashes with the Nigerian public while also halting attacks on law enforcement officers, who have till date demonstrated remarkable restraints in the face of the baiting done by IMN members. If there is still a leadership structure in place within organization, we urge them to restrain their members and call them off the streets of Abuja and other Nigerian cities to which they have deployed.
IMN, its leadership and members, know that the ongoing campaign of terror against the Nigerian state can no longer be considered a mere case of civil disobedience. It now, in view of recent incidents, qualify as a full scale insurrection against the country. The group’s history of disavowal of the Nigerian state will therefore create conditions that warrant stronger responses from the state in order to guarantee the safety and security of other citizens.
We appeal to those sponsoring the IMN protests, whether within or outside our great party, the PDP to desist from using politics as a decoy to disguise the sick portion of their mind that enjoys terrorism. It is wrong for anyone to think that the best way of getting at the government of the day or political rival is to support terrorists and extremists. It is a strategy that has time and again proven to be laden with ugly backlash that consumes not just the intended target but also the person deploying it.
Our group condemn those that had thrown decorum to the wind by verbally supporting IMN through statements, press briefings and social media posts that have encouraged its members to continue this misguided insurrections against the country. These members of the PDP that have done this are uncharitable elements that must be dealt with immediately because they are a liability to our great party.
We therefore call on all PDP party members at all levels to stop participating in IMN protests irrespective of who gave the directive to take part or how much mobilization was provided. We further direct that no member of the PDP should issue statements, address conferences, write opinion articles or make social media posts in official capacity to support IMN or even marginally condone the crime they are committing. Those that have been engaged in this kind of activities in support of IMN are enemies of the PDP, who also do not mean well for our dear country.
The PDP Rebirth Mandate will be closely monitoring compliance with these directive and shall make repercussions costly for any party member or official that goes out of line to pitch tents with terrorists to the detriment of the country.
We like to emphasize that this tough stance against terrorism was borne out the need to ensure that a prosperous Federal Republic of Nigeria remains in existence by the time the PDP becomes ready to reassume its role as Nigeria’s foremost ruling party.