IAADHR, ADVISE LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON SHITTE CONFLICTS ON PROSCRIPTION OF THE SHIITES//IMN;AND THE NEED FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE CAUTIONS FOR THE AFFORDANCE OF GURILLA WAR FARE IN THE NIGERIAN NATIONSAug 062019
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI [GCFR]
PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,
NIGERIA PRESIDENTIAL COMPLEX,
ASO ROCK VILLA,
RE- OUR ADVISE LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON SHITTE CONFLICTS ON PROSCRIPTION OF THE SHIITES//IMN;AND THE NEED FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE CAUTIONS FOR THE AFFORDANCE OF GURILLA WAR FARE IN THE NIGERIAN NATIONS
We are patriotically Buharism /Yemism and from our diligent responsive of intelligent’ we believe in the Nigerian project for Nigerians, we are using these medium to express our resolutions towards addressing the myriads of the security challenges bedeviling the nation vis-a-vis the on-going crisis foisted by the confrontations between the members of the Islamic Movements of Nigeria, IMN and the security agents, leading to loss of lives and national apprehension, prior to their proscription.
We are no doubt convinces that your government will subscribe to our suggestions, applying it to address the current security challenges in Nigeria to prevent dangerous degeneration to precipice.
To remain aloof to the need for urgent mediations has dire effects on national security, more when the nation is already over burdened, its security over-taxed and its dwindling resources, unnecessarily wasted in needless prosecutions of war against self-inflicted insurgency.
Your Excellency, the security fragility may be further worsened if restraint, utmost cautions is not exhibited in the handling of every attempts to put the ravaging Shiites under collective control, particularly, on the issues of its proscriptions. Few days ago, specifically, Friday 26, 2019, The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the proscription of the Shiites’. The judge gave the order following an ex parte application by the Federal Government marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019 which was filed in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Thursday, July 25, 2019, barely 72 hours after a protest by members of the group in Abuja led to a bloody clash between them and the Police.
Justice Nkeonye Maha issued the order in a ruling in which she designated the activities of the Shiite organization in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality. The court consequently restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.
The Shiite group was accused of “nefarious activities”, murder, attacks on security agents, provocative preaching and hate speeches while working towards an agenda of creating an Islamic State in Nigeria. The Federal Government had earlier obtained a court order to proscribe the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite.
The court also ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies” to complete the process of proscribing the group.
The Shiites have for over two years been regularly taking to the streets, particularly in Abuja, to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zenab, arising from court pronouncement to the effect, yet they were held by the state.
Since proscription, several reactions have trailed the actions of the Federal government, most of it angrily expresses in expletives, and derogatory terms. The clear verdict of most respondent is that the proscription of the Shiite movement was unconstitutional, illegal, discriminatory, and hypocritical, under an administration that had refused to take such step in dealing with killer herdsmen who had murdered thousands of Nigerians.
The action it was noted negate and undermine the fundamental right of the Shiites to freedom of religion as constitutionally guaranteed, under sections 38, 40 and 41 of the constitution.
The justifications of your government decision to ban the group, it was reported is based on attendant violent protest that lead to the death of over a dozen people as well as its threats to national security.
No doubt, the confrontations between members of the sect and security operatives have been perennial, often resulting in violence of massive proportions, the most devastating of which arguably occurred in December 2015 when over three hundred members of the sect—including three of the Sheikh’s children—were murdered by the military during a brutal crackdown in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Yet its dismay the way and manner in which the past as well as the present conflicts had been managed give much cause for concerns, more rooms for suspicious of a calculated state inspired attacks to decimate the groups.
There is a well laid down laws or conditions for groups or movements threatening the corporate existence of the nation to be proscribed, one doubts if such had been adhered to in this instance.
Since proscriptions several reactions have trailed the actions of the federal government, most of it angrily expresses expletives and derogatory terms.
The response is worrisome in view of past similar approach in the case of the ravaging Boko Haram insurgency. With the court order proscribing the IMN, the military ought not to have been given a green light to take every step necessary to stop the violence being unleashed by the group on defenseless Nigerians.
To do this, is an invitation to an unending anarchy, guerilla warfare, and a further complication of the already worsened security situation in the country. Aside the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, little other organization, such as IPOB, MASSOB was proscribed, government in its own wisdom realizing the security threats, they allegedly posed.
With the need to subscribe to the rule of law, Federal government should be guided in policy, particularly relating to proscription of any organization in Nigeria, by the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria. This remains the antidote to anarchy within the state.
The implications of the proscription of the Shiites and others is no doubt, far-reaching, the government’s latest action could lead to the emergence of another violent sect. It may lead to an amorphous metastizing of the sect to a faceless threats group, more potent than the Boko Haram, and very difficult to identify for control or future negotiation, as presently experience with the faceless Boko Haram. Your Excellency, we urge your government to exercise great cautions in handling the issues relating to the group, realizing the fact that there presence and consequent actions is a symbolic representation of Iran-the foremost promoter of Shish globally.
The root of the present quagmire in Nigeria cannot be divorce from the overarching influence of Foreign nation on Nigeria, particularly, the import of religious ideology of extremism fuelled by radicalization-the growth of religion to the point of threats to national security, The influence of Iran, Saudi-Arabia and Israel USA on Nigeria has been enormous to the point of threats and concerns.
Yet, the recent action of your government must find a delicate balance, in the recent proscription of the Shiite, which its followers say was neither an association nor a political party that could be proscribed by fiat, but a mass movement and could not be made to abandon its religion just like that your Excellency.
The lessons we would like the Nigerian government to note is the need for the reform of the nations foreign policy as well as our bilateral relationship with nations with reputation of radical religious ideological export. The policies must restrict such, not the present proscription as in the case of medicine after death. With this not adhered to, the nation may witness the sprouting up of many anti-state religious groups.
We noted the recalcitrant pose of the Iran leadership, and its unwavering backing of the groups, irrespective of the threats they posed or May posed to our nation. This call for caution and renewed diplomatic engagements devoid of confrontations. No doubt, several nations are looking to expand bilateral ties and increase cooperation on regional and international issues; this must not be at a security cost to our country. Nigeria must not be a wiling pawn in the Iran’s expansionist strategy in Africa. To do so is to make Nigeria the battlefield of proxy ideological wars between Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Tehran is trying to gain control of strategic waterways along the African coasts, recruit loyal proxies, and cause problems for the West by eliminating traditional Western allies, Nigeria's leadership must realize this. If it is positive, it is welcome, anything contrary should be resisted.
There is no question that Saudi Arabia had significant influence over the development of Salafism in northern Nigeria and also some such in the western region of Nigeria. Much as it does not impinge on our national security, it should be welcome.
Sadly, Iran’s bid to further its hegemonic desires over Nigeria, has translated to the actions of all groups loyal or with religious affinity to it in Nigeria.
Iran’s interference in Morocco led it to cut diplomatic relations with Tehran, over the so-called Iranian diplomat’s support for the Polisario Front, the group that is fighting for control of the Western Sahara, an area where Morocco controls about 90 per cent of the territory. This informed the reasons why we urge for caution in the present case, realizing the reported population of over 21 millions of Shiites in Nigeria and their conflict values.
The fact is that ,through its interferences in Syria war Iran has gained access to the Mediterranean sea where through its dominance of the sahara region ,it will be able to gain access to the Atlantic ocean , and through this gain a firm foothold in the area ,from which to pursue its interest in west Africa ,this ought to be uppermost in the mind of Nigeria leaders as its.
With increasing challenges in the nation, its agents could easily recruit thousands of Shiite youths from impoverished areas in the country, who can be used by the Iranian regime to destabilize the country and create a monster bigger than Boko haram
Today, Iran is constantly on the lookout for allies in Africa, and particularly, Nigeria. The mullah regime is desperately trying to get its claws into Africa, and has used its usual method of buying friends, and arming and training Shiite rebel groups in places like Senegal and Nigeria, to allow it to gain a solid foothold in the region. The leadership response to Shiite must take the form of ideological dialogue moderated by diplomacy and if need be isolations in the national interest. The nation cannot afford the past mistake as it did with Boko Haram .by then leadership of their administrative failure to yield to our cogent responsive thought of advice, on boko haram cause us Nigerians the colotial damage to our existing as a nation.
By our diligent responsive intelligent The Shiite has come to stay with us, we can do little to eliminate them or proscribe them, and rather, we must work to accommodate them within the framework of national interest without tolerating any threats whatsoever.
To forcefully proscribe them and use of the military on them is to risk the underground sabotage of critical assets and infrastructure, the cost of which may be too high to comprehend, particularly as all indices of failed state confronts us in face.
We are critical stakeholders in the Nigerian projects. We are patriotically desirous of a better and great Nigeria. We frown at everything that will undermine our sovereignty or common humanity. There is never a good or justified war; neither is there a profit in conflicts and confrontations.
The present ban or proscription of the Shiite by the federal government will only further influence the interests of foreign radicalism element to infiltrate the nation security more, to sympathize with Shiites, whom they see as being persecuted and in the process may conspired to kill innocent citizen of Nigerians and inflicts incalculable damages on our hard or soft targets.
One of the far reaching ways by which the lingering issues and other related ones should be addressed is for the government to as a matter of urgency improve its human rights protections to an unquestionable level of international acceptance, by strictly observing the rule of law or internationally ratified protocols and conventions.
Your Excellency sir, initiate the place of dialogue or establishing a common ground to find lasting solutions to the crisis should be promptly explored now to avoid second foisting the worst manifestations of Boko Haram, as guerilla warfare that can ravage Nigerians nation, signaling a descent to a failed state. We must therefore dialogue.
We must put in place, through legislations, clear cut stipulations to define the process or parameters leading to proscription of an organization or declaring individuals or group to have been fouled of treasonable felony. To do otherwise is to risk revolts motivated by government’s irrationality.
Your Excellency as the presidency of federal republic of Nigeria is a product of the constitution, and thus behoove on it to adhere to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Government should be more tact in the handling of the conflicts to avoid it snowballing to a larger uncontrollable conflict in the magnitude of Boko Haram .We can only secure the unity of the country through impartial enforcements of laws and order in line with the rule of law by simply obeying court orders.
Government refusal to obey Justice Gabriel Kolawole’s order on the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzakky, because it appealed the ruling, further complicates the issues on ground and exposes the government as arbitrary.
The continued detention of the revered Sheikh El-zakzaky despite his deteriorating health condition is only an act of torture and waiting for his death which can instigate widespread of violence in the country using the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
The Federal Government should therefore comply with the orders of the Federal High Court and the ECOWAS Court of Justice for the release of all detainees in the country.
It should without delay immediately and unconditionally release of Sheikh Ibraheem and Hajia Elzakzaky zenab. However, if the Federal Government has evidence that they have committed any criminal offence whatsoever, they should be arraigned to court.
In the interim, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky access to health care and not to allow the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) die in their custody due to deteriorating health conditions, as part of his right to life provided by the law
The government must work to shed the toga of impunity and the consistent violations of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens particularly the rights to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty but also infringed on the Constitution in several ways.
There is lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements including armed herdsmen must be revisited with a view to addressing it and the only solution is RANCHES; it must avoid heavy-handed violent responses to peaceful protests across the country.
The police must exercise restraint at all times and use force only when strictly necessary as the nation cannot afford to complicate the already challenged security. While the porous borders of our nation must be guided and secured Banning or proscribing the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is not the solution and will never be as it is ideologically motivated, and can only be moderated to operate within the scope of the nation's laws and constitutionality.
A protest is a formal objection by subjects of international law, usually a State, against a conduct or a claim purported to be contrary to or unfounded in international law. This exactly is what the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria subscribe to in defending their rights, while been out daily. The right of peaceful protest is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in GENEVA of December 1948. Today, this right is recognized in the constitutions of 182 countries, Nigeria inclusive, in spite of the present postures by the state. However, we are still far away from universal acceptance of this right in practice.
Without allowing latitude of freedom to protests there may not be effective development of an engaged and informed citizenry nor strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation in public affairs. At the same time, we are using this medium to call on the federal government to enter into dialogue with the group so as to find lasting solutions to the lingering problems. In a democratic and pluralistic society as our, government need to put in place policies and programs that will promotes inclusiveness, patriotism and sense of belonging, such as the Bill of rights.
A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens. Much as the government is determined to protect the rights of all Nigerians, we urge Mr. President to without delay send a bill on Nigerian Citizenship Commission bill to National Assembly for passage so as to douse tensions that threatens our national unity. We urge Mr. President to without delay Appoint an Attorney General of the Federation that isn’t inept that will be more proactive in using his office to deepen the rules of law and unwavering subscription to all relevant of the international norms of laws, for the overall development of our dear nation.
Every policy should be geared towards the promotion of good governance and over all prosperity of the people. That’s the only surest security against foreign ideology. Government should be very decisive in taking decision to address these issues, just as it had done in the recent case of renewed contract with Siemens of Germany.
We urge government to put in place robust mechanism and laws to promote patriotic citizenship that will readily comply with the rules of laws of the nation. The realization of the emergence of foreign-backed ideological organization, government should periodically review its foreign policies to make the interest of the nation, the centre piece of its actions and objectives.
We call on government to further train the security agents on adherence to the rules of engagements in conflicts, to minimize casualties. We call on government to put in place policies and programs to eliminate all factors that promotes insecurity or radicalization of groups or movement making them amenable to strange anti-nation ideology, so as to starve the adventure of foreign terrorist groups in Nigeria.
The record of the human rights of your government in the first term of your administration, gives much for concerns, it also has a great impacts on your international engagements, this realization, and thus imposed a great responsibility to carefully choose an Attorney General of the federation that is fully committed to defend human rights while complying with the laws of the nation.We urge government to put in place robust mechanism and laws to promote patriotic citizenship that will readily comply with the rules of laws of the nation. The realization of the emergence of foreign-backed ideological organization, government should periodically review its foreign policies to make the interest of the nation, the centre piece of its actions and objectives. We call on government to further train the security agents on adherence to the rules of engagements in conflicts, to minimize casualties.
We call on government to put in place policies and programs to eliminate all factors that promotes insecurity or radicalization of groups or movement making them amenable to strange anti-nation ideology, so as to starve the adventure of foreign terrorist groups in Nigeria The implications on your leadership will be undesirable with its accompanied backlash of killing weekly around the nations, Government must do everything within its powers to manage the present challenges relating to the security, particularly restructuring our security architecture. Government must review its foreign policies to mitigate the impacts of importations of threatening religious or political ideologies to the country. Government must review its human rights responses in line with global best practices. Government must de-proscribe the group and set laws to regulate funding links between religious groups in countries with potentials threats to our national sovereignty.IA/AD/HR/ 08/05/019
The Nigerian security forces should be trained or indoctrinated to abide by the United Nations Officials. The leadership needs to promote equity, rule of laws and patriotism, to make every Nigerian have a sense of belonging. With these, the myriad cases of security challenges beveling the nations will be addressed.
Yours in support of diligent responsive leadership.
COMRADE, BATURE JOHNSON T.
PRESIDENT [I.A.A.D.H.R] International Association for Advancement and Defense of Human Rights.