- Nigeria federal government says it has not banned law abiding Shiites in the country from practicing their religion
- According to the FG, the recent proscription of IMN was to discourage violence from the group
- The FG also accused IMN of deliberately changing the narrative in order to divert the attention of the world from its terrorist activities
President Buhari's administration has not banned Shiites from observing their five daily prayers and going to Mecca to perform the Holy pilgrimage, the presidency says in a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu.
According to the federal government, the proscription of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has nothing to do with banning the larger numbers of peaceful and law abiding Shiites in the country from practicing their religion.
It said the move was to discourage violence, murder and willful destruction of public and private property by the IMN.
The presidency also explained that contrary to the claim by IMN that it had been banned from practicing its religion.
"Their position is blatantly false and deceptive," the FG insisted.
"The IMN is deliberately changing the narrative in order to gain sympathy and divert the attention of the world from its terrorist activities, including attacking soldiers, killing policemen and a youth corps member, destroying government ambulances and public property, consistently defying authority of the state."
The presidency notes that the banned organization was taken over by extremists who didn't believe in peaceful protests and instead employed violence and arson, driving fear and undermining the rights of others and constituted authority.
The presidency agrees that the constitution protects freedom of worship, but not to the detriment of the society, especially where such freedom harms others, and breaks law and order.
"We are fighting lawlessness and criminality and not pursuing a policy of discrimination against any group,” the presidency stressed.
“You cannot be in court while at the same time engaging in violent protests, molesting people and inflicting pains on others, which includes taking innocent lives,'' the FG added.
Recall that Legit.ng had reported that the federal government obtained an order to proscribe the Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shiite, as a terrorist group.
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