The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor is shedding crocodile tears after inciting violence against its members.
The IMN, also known as the Shi’ia sect, lost over 10 of its members at a violent encounter with security agents during its Ashura procession, which held on Wednesday.
On Thursday, el-Rufai condemned the attack on the sect and ordered that the perpetrators be brought to book.
But in a statement on Thursday, Ibrahim Musa, the IMN’s spokesman, said what happened at its Ashura procession was well-planned and “meticulously executed with all machinery of government.”
“How then can el-Rufai now shed crocodile tears having incited violence on a people through his hate posture and actions against such people? They read the body language of the government in their favour and acted based on that, and with full support of all the instruments of governance over which he presides,” the statement read.
“What happened in the wake of our peaceful Ashura mourning procession was a carefully planned plot, meticulously executed with all machinery of government.
“The government had all along tried to give their brutal clampdown on Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) members a semblance of an altercation between IMN and the masses.
“Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai alluded to this right from the outset of the attacks in December, 2015 in his infamous state-wide broadcast. His utterances and body language since then left no one in doubt his disdain for IMN members.
“Using all the tools of governance at his disposal, in private and openly, often in total disregard to reason, sanity or law, he exhibited extreme hate for IMN. As a fore-runner to the latest brutality, he issued an executive order banning us from exercising our rights to practice our religion with a threat to jail anyone who does up to seven years in his jail.
“We have it on record how certain individuals and hate preachers took to the media and the podium respectively calling on the masses to join the government of el-Rufai in what they termed an ‘all-out war on Shia.’
“The government and el-Rufai has neither refuted that nor called the perpetrators to order or better still arrested and punished the culprits, since they are well-known and the actions were done in broad daylight. Simply put, el-Rufai is very much culpable.
“We wish to remind the public that incitement to murder a vulnerable population can be so subtle. People read body languages, take cues, pick up signals and act accordingly. Other governors have quickly taken cue from him.”
While stating that they would not be blackmailed into violence, the IMN reiterated its call for the release of Ibraheem Zakzaky, its leader, and other of its members in detention.