Chris Steven, Abuja
The Young Christian Forum (YCF), Abuja chapter, has raised alarm that the frequent protests embarked upon by members of the Islamic Movement Of Nigeria, IMN also known as Shiites is targeted at destabilizing Abuja ahead of the 2019 Polls.
Report had it that the Shi’ites members have been protesting in Abuja for some days for the release of thier leader, El Zazakky who has been in detention.
Several persons have lost their lives in separate clashes between members of the Islamic group and the Nigerian Army around Zuba and Nyanya-keffi road.
Reacting to the development, YCF said the FCT has suffered monumental disruption of its activities when the Boko Haram terrorists rained hell on key government infrastructures that included the bombing of the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, the office of the United Nations, as well as the popular and busy Nyanya Motor park that left hundreds dead and many others injured.
Rev. Jolly Egbe, Chaplain/President of the group warned that if urgent step is not taken, it would snowball into national tragedy.
Egbe said, “Residents of the Federal Capital Territory moved around then with fear not knowing when and where the next bomb would detonate, which ultimately made palpable tension evident in the Federal Capital Territory.
“However, all of these changed when the Nigeria Army intensified its counter terrorism operations, especially in North East Nigeria and the federal capital territory.
‘Consequently, the federal capital territory has continued to experience peace and stability since 2015. There is no doubt that life was restored to public places such as gardens, airports, mosques, churches and offices that were difficult to visit without the fear of bombs.
“We are however, constrained to lend our voice to the growing threat that the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have continued to pose to residents of the federal capital territory in recent times, which if not nipped in the bud , is capable of taking us back to the dark years where residents in the federal capital territory lived in fear of terror.
“The members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in recent times have constituted themselves into a threat to national peace and tranquillity, and we are all witnesses to the numerous occasions where they have indeed disrupted activities in the federal capital territory with impunity.
“For the records, it is good to mention that these group have closed markets several times and prevented adherents of other religions from worshiping.
“The Young Christians Forum is indeed worried with this trend and is also of the opinion that the relevant security agencies must rise to the occasion in an attempt to save the residents of the federal capital territory the agony of going about their daily activities in fear.
“While this is of great national importance, it would also indeed save the country as a whole the international embarrassment that is usually associated with terrorist activities.
“It is also succinct to add that that members of the diplomatic community are resident in the federal capital territory and at the risk of creating a panic mode, the relevant security agencies must address this threat once and for all.
“Nigeria would also be at risk of losing vital international investments if the activities of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria are not curtailed.
“Their foreign sponsors have continued to threaten the sovereignty of our dear country and the proximity of the next election is not far from why they have renewed their threats to us as a people.
“This is a clarion call, as well as a call to more significant action to all the relevant security agencies to deploy its best security apparatus and techniques in ensuring the security of lives and properties in the federal capital territory.
“We also wish to use this medium to inform other religious bodies in the Federal capital territory that the security of lives and properties is not the duty of our security agencies alone, but rather, a collective one, and as such they must in their words and actions instil discipline and orderliness in the minds of their various congregation.
“The sanctity of human lives must not be politicized under whatever guise if we are desirous of making progress as a nation. Every religion in the world tolerates the religion of other people and this brand by the IMN has not been seen anywhere before.
“We, therefore, state in unequivocal terms that if urgent steps are not taken by the relevant stakeholders in the federal capital territory to curtail the excesses of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, we might as well see a return to the dark years where terror reigned supreme in the federal capital territory.
“It is to this end that we are calling on the world to speak out against the evil that the IMN poss to our peaceful co-existence and fundamental rights. We shall in the next 24 hours embarking on a peace rally to register our displeasure against the activities of the IMN group within and outside the FCT.
” We cannot wait for the security agencies before we do our beats as citizens and this is no exception to our resolve to protect our fundamental human rights.”he said