SHAFAQNA– Security and administration sources in Nigeria have leaked the news that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is going to issue an executive order announcing the Islamic movement in Nigeria as an illegal organization.
The decision was taken in the wake of a demonstration by the followers of the Islamic Movement that turned violent in the capital Abuja on July 22. The IMN says nearly a dozen of its members were shot dead by security forces while dozens injured and more were taken to custody. Confrontations erupted amid rising anger among Nigerian Shia Muslims over the continuation of the detention of their leader and Shia scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife. There are news about the sheikh’s deteriorating health condition. Zakzaky is in jail since December 2015 following an army’s raid on the northern city of Zaria that left hundreds of IMN members -including three of the sheikh’s sons- dead.
Nigeria’s top Federal Court has ordered the Buhari government to release Sheikh Zakzaky but the government refuses to obey the order citing national security. Federal lawmakers on July 10 also passed a resolution requiring President Buhari to respect the top court’s ruling and free the sheikh. Nigerian MPs are fearful that the prolonged incarceration of the IMN leader would lead to the radicalization of his followers and more deadly clashes between the two sides.
The Abuja government has so far refused to comment about the news on banning the IMN.
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