A group of protesters, under the aegis of Sovereign Rights Coalition (SRC), has called on the Federal Government to immediately prosecute the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The group also calling for the eviction of the Iranian Embassy from the country over alleged sponsoring of terrorism.
In a press statement signed by its coordinator, Comrade Aaron Aaron, and made available to Daily Sun, the group who staged the protest on Thursday at the Iranian Embassy in Lagos accused the Iranian government of surreptitiously sponsoring Islamic extremism through the IMN. The group, however, charged the Federal Government to expedite action on the prosecution of El-Zakzaky.
The statement reads in part: “It is common knowledge that there has, in the last decade, been a sprouting of religious fanatic groups which have unsuccessfully attempted to foist their beliefs on innocent Nigerians using terror as their tool of evangelism.
Today, the gallant Nigerian Army has gotten the upper hand in this fight and most of these groups have been brought to check. However, it is our belief that even the little cells of terrorist groups be checkmated.
“Unfortunately, even after this blatant display of disregard for the nation’s security, these terrorists have continued to display obtuse discount for the nation’s sovereignty in their treasonable attempts to occupy parts of the nation in a bid to form their own republic.
It is on this belief that we are here today to establish our reproach for the postponed trial of Mr. Ibraheem El-Zakzaky who is the leader of this notorious sect which has and is still reigning terror on the masses in Northern Nigeria.”
According to the group, the action of the Iranian government only causes enmity among Nigerians.
“Our concern is based on the trail of violent acts that have trailed the Iranians who have been known sponsors of terror, particularly, the IMN. We have refused to sit and fold our arms while these harbingers of terror sneak in seeds of discord amongst our religious tolerant Southerners where all religions wine and dine under the same roof.
This suspicious relocation is viewed in prism of a new recruitment drive to generate recruits for intended terrorist cells believed to be domiciled in the north.
As a group, we have severally observed with awe acts by persons supported by foreign nations including the Republic of Iran aimed at disparaging the honour of Nigeria as a nation.
“The Iranians are major sponsors of terror in Nigeria and particularly the IMN who have not hidden their association with ISIL,” it said.
Describing the IMN as similar to the dreaded Book Haram Islamic sect, the group resolved that: “As a matter of immediacy, the IMN should be labelled and treated as a ‘first class terror group’ in the ranks of the famous Boko Haram and given a similar attention.
“We frown at the delayed prosecution of Mr. Ibraheem El Zakzaki, as this delay in prosecution further emboldens the movement in the country,” it added.
The protest came on the heels of the IMN’s attack on the convoy of Buratai on December 12, 2015, in Zaria, Kaduna State, leading to the detention of El-Zakzaky.