Chris Steven, Abuja
More trouble seems to be brewing for Ibrahim Zakzaky, detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN)as a large number of protesters on Friday besieged the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to demand for the proscription of the sect and subsequent designation as a terrorist organization.
The protest which was organized by Advocates for Social Justice for All (ASJA) was led by Torkuma Asogo, its Executive Director.
Asogo during the march warned that after the confrontation with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff in December 2015, the IMN is already re-grouping to launch attacks on innocent Nigerians.
He said, “If our laws cannot fight terrorism, the guns may also not be enough to win the battle.”
“Members of IMN have claimed severally that they do not respect Nigerian laws.
“As recently as this week, Nigerians have become aware that IMN leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky was caught with a large cache of arms ammunitions in the period leading up to his confrontation with the military and his subsequent arrest and detention.
“On several occasions his members had contemplated storming the facility in which he is detained with the intention to attack the security operatives there and free him while hiding such heinous plots under the cover of protests.
“IMN’s link to Iran, a major state sponsor of terrorism, is not in doubt. This to us calls for not just concern but underscores the need to be proactive especially in the light of a recent CIA report that clearly indicted Iran for sponsoring terrorism to destabilize other countries.
“Other nations have taken steps to designate groups connected to Iran as terror organizations to ensure the safety of their citizens. Nigeria must be the only country that allows an Iranian sponsored terror group to go around attacking security agents and harassing citizens without consequences.
“This is simply unacceptable. Iran’s backing of IMN has emboldened it as a terror group. Its members have openly confronted the military, the police and even our defenseless population the last being the attack on the Police in Abuja.
” Before this, IMN has made life unbearable to the population of Nigerians living within its sphere of influence. It even went as far as declaring for itself a parallel government.
“This rally to your office is for us to demand the proscription of IMN, which the Kaduna State Government outlawed and properly documented in its gazette a long time ago.
” Several other states have toed the same path but this kind of installment approach is not adequate to deal with the threat posed by IMN considering its international sponsorship as terror group.
“We therefore decided it is time to make this demand because of the increasing threats of IMN militants.
” We consequently demand that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation properly designate IMN as a terrorist organization since its menace is growing every day and without any check from the Federal Government its criminal acts of terror will spread to other parts of the country”.
The Executive Director also said, “the laws are unequivocal in the procedures for declaring a group as a terror organization.
” This has been tested sufficiently tested with the designation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group in the South East, immediately curtailed the terrorist activities of the group.