Nigerians living in the US under the banner of the Movement of the People of Nigeria on Monday held a protest against the non-prosecution of IMN Leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky at the United Nations Building and Nigeria House in New York City.
Addressing the protest, Cosmas Collins, the US Cordinator of the group said the Nigerian government is making a mistake by not prosecuting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) for their acts of violence against the state and against citizens of Nigeria.
He said it is important the world is able to reassure the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that they have the world’s support for nipping the growing terror of IMN in the bud.
According to him, a clear message must be sent to the government that the firmness with which it deals with the IMN threat is a matter global interest as any fallout from delay in dealing with the threat posed by the group will affect the whole world.
The result of several investigations that followed the clash between the IMN members and army last December all want the prosecution of the IMN leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky and all those that supported him in that insurrection.
He said, “We are therefore here to demand that the federal government and the Kaduna state government must do what the reports of NHCR and the Commission of Inquiry have recommended. Even without the prompting of the two reports the government should have done the needful by prosecuting everyone that precipitated that mayhem.
“Failure to prosecute these people, including El-Zakyzaky is making other groups think of coming out because it is now believed that it is fashionable to take on the state without consequences.
“The government must not also omit to consider bringing charges of subversion against members of the group for inviting Iranian intervention in Nigeria’s internal affairs. As a prelude to this, the government should investigate the finances of the group and its senior members to see if they have been beneficiary of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism
The protesters urged the Nigerian ambassor to the US convey to the Federal Government of Nigeria that it must treat its protest as a warning and a call to immediately arraign El-Zakyzaky and indeed any other member of his sect indicted in any of the reports on the events of December 2015.
He said, “Where the government fails to show commitment to prosecute El-Zakyzaky and IMN fanatics within reasonable time we shall be constrained to hold more protests in Abuja and even scale up to other cities, particularly in those places where IMN members are holding protests to demand for the release of the man we want to stand trial.
“The indifference to IMN extremism, radicalisation, and militarisation must stop. The world must demand that the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria acts now. There is nothing like soft or hardline terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism and the world cannot afford for IMN to grow to the level of Boko Haram before demanding that Nigeria takes action.