By Stanley Onyekwere
Commercial activities at the National Assembly complex and Central Business District in the Federal Capital city were yesterday momentarily halted, following a protest against the menace of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
The protest, which was championed by the Concerned Women/Africa Arise for Change Network was well attended by angry Nigerians, who insisted the activities of INM have political undertones.
The protesters took off at Unity Fountain, and terminated at the National Assembly complex, where they made their stance against the continued protest by IMN members, otherwise known as Shi’ites in Abuja.
Speaking during the well-attended rally, Princess Ajibola, convener of the group, called on the National Assembly to pass a resolution, compelling the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to file a suit for the court to declare IMN a terrorist organization so that law enforcement agencies can better respond to the threat it poses to the country.
“Concerned Nigerians Women and the Africa Arise for Change Network are staging this rally today in order to put it on the record that we are not in any way part of the conspiracy of silence in the glaring threat now posed to the country by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
“Nigerians and the entire world was last week threated to the macabre spectacle of IMN members invading the National Assembly, the most important site for our democracy. While every Nigerian has the right to protest to the National Assembly, the intention of the IMN militants was very obvious because they were there to sack the parliament as demonstrated by their attack on the policemen on duty.
“IMN attacks on members of the public and security operatives is not new. Killing law enforcement officers is also not new to them. What however became alarming in this instance was the sheer intensity of the attack during which they shot several policemen in addition to wounding others with catapults and cudgels.”
It continued that, “peaceful protests does not involve protestors menacing other citizens, chanting anti-government slogans and definitely does not involve attempting to forcefully take over government building, neither does it involve killing policemen that are on legitimate duty for the country.
“We therefore question the conspiracy of silence by those who think Nigeria deserves to have another terror group when the vestiges of Boko Haram is still being eradicated from their remaining strongholds.
“We condemn those that have obstinately refused to see nothing wrong with recent attempts by IMN insurgents to take over the National Assembly. Equally condemnable are those that are advocating for the extremists to be pampered and allowed to wreck the country for other law abiding citizens.
“Concerned Nigerians Women and the Africa Arise for Change Network use this opportunity to warn the compromised members of the National Assembly that are collaborating with IMN that their plot is no longer secret.
“Details of their deal with Atiku’s associates and the IMN are well known and will be revealed at the right time. They still have time to team up with their right thinking colleagues and do the proper thing before it is too late.
“We shall keep up this demand until the IMN is designated a terrorist group. We will not stay silent while neo-terrorists destroy our democracy.”