The Islamic Movement in Nigeria AKA Shi’ites, says it would embark on annual Arbaeen symbolic trek on Saturday across the country despite police order banning their activities.
A statement signed by the President, Media Forum of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa said “the Federal Government has stubbornly refused to brief the public on the actual reason behind such a barbaric massacre on its citizens and has not initiated any investigation’’
The group noted that a recent comment credited to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that the IMN would be treated as a terrorist group was an indication that “this year’s Arbaeen trek will be attacked by the security like that of last year or that of the Ashura which took place almost 40 days ago, during which several people were killed in each case.” It said the statement was a clear violation of their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
Musa explained that, the Arbaeen symbolic trek is part of their religious rights as enshrined in the Nigeria constitution which must be accorded respect by the government.
They said they were aware of government antagonism towards them but insisted they would join millions of others the world over to observe the Arbaeen trek which comes 40 days after the Ashura, to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
The Shi’ites recalled how last year’s Arbaeen trek was met with gunfire from the elite Guards Brigade in Abuja, who the group alleged, killed many of its members.
The group also, assured the public that the trek would be peaceful and devoid of any attempt to disrupt the right of safe passage to other road users.
“There is no cause for alarm over the Arba’een trek. Love for Imam Husain (AS) is not just for the Muslims alone but for all those who love justice and fight against oppression in all ages, ours inclusive,” the group said.
The statement added, “Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after the Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“Each year, millions of Muslims flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala where the holy tomb of Imam Hussein (AS) is located to perform mourning rites.
“This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Saturday globally, hence all preparations are in top gear by the Islamic Movement in joining this worldwide event across the country.
The group also reiterated their earlier call for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and other members of the IMN who have been in detention since December, 2015.