By Abdulmumin Giwa
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has conducted a round table meeting on Saturday in Abuja to commemorate the first year of the judgment ordering the unconditional release of its leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
In attendance at the meeting which took place exactly one year after the court judgment on December 2nd were Diplomats, Journalists, Human Rights Activists, University Dons and Legal Practitioners.
Issues bothering around social struggles in relation to human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria were discussed from different perspectives by the experts in attendance.
In the course of discussions it was noted that security agencies and armed forces in Nigeria are serving more of the personal interests of some individuals in authority as against the general interest of the Nigerian citizens.
In this regard it was observed that there is the need for reorientation that will change the general mind-set of both the citizens who fear those in authority and those in authority who rule with impunity.
The experts observed that democracy is supposed to be all inclusive contrary to the way it is operating in Nigeria where interests from other sovereign nations are imported and imposed on citizens thereby setting the pace for undue proxy crises in the country and the infringement of the rights of citizens.
They also observed that the Nigerian government has no right to decide what faith Nigerians should belong to or the way and manner they practice their faith as this is clearly a constitutional issue which allows citizens the freedom of worship.
The round table also agreed that from the human angle, the military clampdown on the IMN of December 2015 was a crime against humanity and a clear act of genocide which must not be allowed to go unchecked.
The experts also hailed the maturity and intellectual strength of the IMN members who have refused to be dragged into violence by the authorities despite all efforts and intimidations. It praised the way the IMN resorted to total peaceful means of seeking redress despite the brutalities it suffered. It added that there is no single record of the group killing anyone, destroying any property or causing bodily harm to anybody.
The IMN was advised to continue in the path of peace and advocacy despite the phobia and hate campaigns against it.
The way the Nigerian government, security agents and the armed forces have wrongly turned themselves into the enemies of the IMN still remains a mystery. The IMN has no single record of participating in any sectarian or inter-religious crises that had bedeviled the country in the past.
Instead, it is on record that the IMN has rehabilitated victims of such crises and preached unity and tranquility to all based on its principle of all human beings being brothers either in faith or in humanity.
By Abdulmumin Giwa