Home Editorial Playing the devils advocate with Shi’ites’ invasion of National Assembly

Playing the devils advocate with Shi’ites’ invasion of National Assembly

Playing the devils advocate with Shi'ites' invasion of National Assembly

The invasion of the National Assembly Complex Abuja by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, last Tuesday is not only condemnable but also a breach of security.

Such invasion, if not curbed by the authorities concerned, will cause anarchy, the consequences of which be unpalatable to all and sundry.

Shi’te members last Tuesday invaded the National Assembly Complex to protest the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-zakyzaky, who has been in custody since December 2015.

During the protest, many, including four policemen were wounded; vehicles were either burnt or destroyed. 5. The Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by the Islamic sect group members climaxed their week-long activities around the Assembly area for the release of their leader.

They had earlier occupied the MOPOL gate main entrance penultimate week, paralyzing movement, but they later vacated the gate last Monday and took over the major road around the Eagle Square and National Arcade around the National Assembly.

Before the eventual invasion, the Shi’ites had earlier marched around the road but while proceedings were going on in the two Chambers, they advanced towards the second gate main premises of the Assembly. The development prompted the House of Representatives to hurriedly adjourned sittings till next day.

We regard this invasion of the National Assembly by Shi’ites as not only an affront but a high breach of security.

It is also a dent on the image of not only the security operatives but the country as a whole to have allowed anybody or group to be around such area in an attempt to unleash terror on the Federal lawmakers or foment any trouble. With such situation, it means there is no where or nobody that is safe in any part of the country.

Our belief is that if the security operatives had been extra vigilant about the activities of the Islamic sect group around the place for some days, they (Shi’ites) would not have had the guts to advance towards the National Assembly Complex.

This brings to the fore the need for security beef -up around the National monuments and other parts of the country.

While we commend the Inspector -General of Police (IGP) for his directive on the 24-hour surveillance of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs by the police, we plead that this should not be restricted to FCT but also be extended to all the nooks and crannies of the country especially the black spots, crime-prone or volatile areas. This will definitely reduce to the barest minimum criminals and their nefarious activities.

Those arrested in connection with the invasion should be thoroughly investigated by the security operatives with the aim of bringing them to book in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

More importantly, the main cause of the invasion, which is the continued taking into custody of the leader of the Islamic group, El-zakzaky, must be urgently addressed by the Federal Government.

Government must be seen to have respect of law and should expedite action in releasing Shiites leader, who has been in custody since 2015 despite several court injunctions to release him.

We belief that the Federal Government has no justification to accuse anybody of any breach of law when itself cannot obey the court injunctions.

We urge government to release El-zakzaky as his continued detention may lead to more bloody agitations by members of his group who had already threatened that last Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly would be a child play of its pending protests.

And going by what happened in Lagos last Thursday during a protest by Shi’ites in South-West over the same issue of their leader, it is crystal clear that the group is ready for the worse at the expense of the members’ lives.

During their protest in Lagos last Thursday, the South-West coordinator of the group, Muftau Zakariya, threatened: “If Tinubu allows the President (Muhammadu Buhari) to continue to kill our members, there will not be Nigeria in 2023….We are ready to die if our leader is not released….It is true that there are 21million Shiites in Nigeria and if they have to kill our leader, which country will they have to rule by 2023?”.

The earlier government addressed this security issue, the better to avoid any anarchy in the country.


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