By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representative on Tuesday voted against the release of Ibrahim El Zakzaki, Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites.
This is just as the Shiite members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) carried out another protest in Abuja yesterday, which turned violent after they were dispersed by security operatives.
The House threw out amendment by Herman Hembe (APGA, Benue) that the Federal Government should obey Court orders and release El Zakzaky, and a similar amendment by Linda Ipeazu (PDP, Abia) that, the Kaduna State Government should also obey the Court order to release the Islamic Cleric while considering a motion of urgent importance.
The two amendments caused row at the plenary as Femi Gbajabiamila directed that the House be divided into two according to those in support and those against the release of El Zakzaki, but when it became obvious that those in support outnumbered those against, the House went into executive session.
However, after the executive session, the amendments were completely discarded while an ad-hoce Committee headed by Alhassan Doguwa, House Majority Leader was constituted to liaise with the executive on how to resolve the Shi’ites issue and end the incessant attacks.
The Green Chamber also summoned Security Chiefs to appear before it to find out ways of solving the challenges of insecurity in the country.
The House resolved that, an ad-hoc committee be constituted to investigate, make recommendation and report back to the House Within one (1) week for further legislative actions.
The sponsor of the motion, Mohammed Shamsudeen-Bello (APC, Kano) in his debate said that, “on the 22nd of July 2019 and several other dates before now, the members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) have done and threaten to do an act preparatory to and or in furtherance of an act of terrorism including destabilization and destroying of public utilities, attack on security personnel such as the Nigerian police and Civil Defence Corp.
“This act seriously intimidates the population of Abuja as well as its its environs and also damages or intends to damage corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Such violent and unlawful assembly becomes sporadic and leads to the loss of lives and properties. The Nigerian Police Force appeared incapable to tame it as a result of colossal violence of the members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite).
“Hence, the need to direct the Inspector General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to initiate the proscription of the IMN and or declare the assembly unlawful in Nigeria. The incident of 22nd day of July, 2019 is disheartening, especially as it led to the death of a Deputy Commissioner of Police as reported by The Nigeria lawyer’ an electronic media outfit”, he said.
Shamsudeen-Bello further noted that, “the Nigerian Police Force is primarily established for the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order as well as protection of lives and properties in N igeria including the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja.
“The Provisions of such services is one of the responsibilities of the Nigerian Police Force in order for economic, political and social businesses to thrive in this country.
“The House has made appropriate budgetary funding to the Nigerian Police Force to tame any threat to National Security including gathering of intelligence. The House passed, ‘Terrorism (Prevention) Act 201 land Penal Code Law as applicable to FCT and the Northern region of this country. In particular, Section 100 sub (1) declared unlawful assembly of any persons whose Common object isby means of criminal force or show of criminal force to enforce any rights or supposed right.
“The members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) cannot under any guise of protest engage in blood shed or violence as well as destruction of economic activities which seriously intimidate the population sovereignty of the nation. This activity has been reported widely by both print and electronic media and is a cause of concern for both national and international community.
“The continuous violent blood protest by members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) negates the corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That if urgent steps are not taken to proscribe Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) or declare their assembly unlawful in Nigeria, the Group may likely arm itself and turn a deadly Group like Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Boko Haram.”
The latest Shi’ites protest happened around Banex, Wuse 2 area of Abuja yesterday..
Recall that a protest by the Shiites on Monday led to the death of at least 13 people including a police Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, a journalist and 11 Shiites.
The police also announced the arrest of over 50 of the protesters. The IMN members are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been detained since December 2015.