Uncertainty over Shiite leader’s arraignment
Gumi, group trade words over violence
THERE was uncertainty yesterday as to whether indeed leader of the Shi’ite Islamic group in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had been arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Zaria Road, Kaduna and charged with criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbances.
Some online media had reported that El-zakzaky who was arraigned alongside some followers by the police, was however remanded in prison custody.
But the police and members of Shiites in Kaduna have denied having knowledge of the arrangement of el Zakyzaky in court.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Kaduna police command, Mallam Zubairu Abubakar told The Guardian:
“We are not aware of the arraignment of el Zakyzaky in court”, while the Shiite’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa said: “We are really not aware of the appearance of Sheikh el Zakyzaky in court.If he had been taken to court we will know”.
The development came as prominent Islamic cleric in the North, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi, picked holes in the activities of the Shi’ites Islamic group, alleging that its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky, has been running a parallel government in most parts of the north in the last 40 years.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has condemned the support by the Kaduna State Council of Imams and Ulamas to the government over the recent clash between soldiers and Shi’ites in Zaria.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Gumi, who is also a medical doctor by profession, alleged that ‘’ the Shi’ites have been embarking on military training and producing cadets and soldiers.’’
According to Gumi, “the Shi’ites are operating a state within a state, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria does not recognise the corporate entity of Nigeria. The group is not registered. It operates above the law and it gets direct foreign aid.’’
He said the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua had told him of the massive importation of ammunition and weapons to different parts of the country, mentioning Iran as Shi’ites.
“The recent clash between Shiites and soldiers was a divine intervention to prevent us from a catastrophe like that of Boko Haram. It came sudden and powerful to eradicate and uproot any plan that they must have been having to harm the society.’’
Gumi said he had personally written El-Zakzaky about a year ago, warning him about the dangers of blocking roads during the annual Ar’baeen trek, when his followers travel on foot from all over the country to Zaria. According to him, blocking road is an abomination in Islam. The Islamic scholar warned that the north would continue to be underdeveloped if the twin evils of ‘Shia’s and Boko Haram are not eradicated. He said ‘’the strife and unnecessary blocking of roads and shouting slogans on the way increases the tension in the north.’’
In a statement yesterday, the spokesman of IMN, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, condemned the visit by the Council of Islamic leaders to the Governor Nasir El-Rufai where they “declared support for the recent brutal killings of hundreds if not thousands of defenseless Muslims in Zaria by the Nigerian Army.”
According to him, the Council was made up of Sunni and Wahhabi Mosque Imams.
Musa explained: “This is a sectarian agenda that is poisonous to the quest of well meaning Muslim scholars for unity among Muslims. This open and shameful support for injustice could be viewed as a kind of pathological rivalry for a group they see growing in geometric proportions, and being opportunists, would clearly support a massacre, no matter how unjustifiable. They see this as an opportunity to decimate their rivals. They have forgotten the Qur’anic injunctions that Allah Commanded the Muslims to be just to all and sundry”.
According to Musa, “Due to the need for unity, millions of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria under the leadership of EL Zakzaky didn’t build separate mosques because Qur’an says mosques are for Allah and thus places for proclaiming and promoting unity. Sheikh Zakzaky ordered all his followers accordingly to pray in the existing Sunni-dominated mosques despite the massive anti-Shia propaganda taking place in most of these mosques. These they endured for the sake of unity.
“Rather than the Imams and Ulama to serve as the embodiment of Muslim unity, they are unfortunately actively working for selfish interests to massage some corrupt egos and sectarian interests. It must be condemned when mosque Imams become willing tools in the hands of corrupt Northern elites, who today form the notorious genocidal military-civilian cabal that is presently executing foreign-sponsored evil agenda against the peaceful IMN and its leadership.”
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