THE Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El Rufai has opened up on why he took steps to ban the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
He made the disclosure during an interview with selected journalists in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
The Governor said that the Islamic group was another brand of insurgent to happen.
He criticized the activities of the group saying they do not recognize the constitution of Nigeria and are loyal to another authority outside Nigeria.
Speaking further, he said the state government has no right as a matter of course to ban any religion or religious practice but only declared the Islamic Movement of Nigeria an unlawful society because of its penchant for violence adding that the state government only invoked the penal code that was passed in 1963 to outlaw the organization.
Why did you ban the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) ?
The issue of Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN) and their declaration as an unlawful society is something that we did with all sense of responsibility. Many media outlets have presented what we did in various ways which are misleading. What we did was not to ban any organisation, we have no power to ban an organisation if it exists, we cannot ban religion or religious practice. What we did is to say that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is an unlawful society and we derived the powers to do this under the penal code that was passed in 1963, so, it is not a new thing that we did. The governor can declare any organisation an unlawful society, if it poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state and we concluded, after receiving the report of the judicial commission of inquiry that looked into the clashes between the IMN and the army, that the IMN poses a threat to the peace, security and good governance of Kaduna state. That is what we did. We did not ban Shiism, we did not ban Shiites. We did not say they cannot practise their religion, because in Kaduna State, there are at least two Shiites organisations that we know. There is Alkafaalin Foundation, there is Rasulaazam Society. These are all Shiites organisations and they are not outlawed. They are not outlawed because all they do is to preach their brand of Islam and they practice their brand of Islam and they are free to do so. There is also a misconception that IMN is the same as Shiites; IMN is only one out of many Shiites organisations. There is a prominent Shiites organisation with its headquarters here in Kaduna that is headed by Sheikh Hamza Lawal. He is well known, he used to be with IMN, he left them because he realised that IMN is more interested in political struggle than religious development. Because IMN doesn’t recognise Nigerian laws, they are not registered with CAC, so they cannot be sued or held responsible. They build anywhere they want without approval. They don’t even bother to acquire title to land. Their allegiance is not to Nigerian government, their allegiance is to somewhere else. I want to ask you, if you put all these facts together, what does IMN look like? IMN looks like an insurgency waiting to happen. You say you don’t recognise the constitution, you don’t recognise the President and the governor and they don’t register to vote, they don’t believe in it. So, when they said that we went to Ek-Zakzaky during the election, it is a lie. I visited El-Zakzaky’s children, that is the picture they are saying I went to campaign. El-Zakzaky was in the university with me.