Nigeria: Authorities Stop Shiites from Preaching in Katsina, Kebbi
By Mohammad Ibrahim
2 April, Katsina: A combined armed security team on Friday prevented Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN known as Shiites from conducting the usual post-khutba preaching session at Central Juma’at Mosque in Katsina North West Nigeria.
The security agents besieged the mosque from the early hours of the morning in an effort to stop the shiites from assembling in the mosque.
In a statement signed by the Shiites spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa made available to Oslo Times said though the brothers of IMN took the decision to cancel the preaching session in order to avoid spilling of blood of innocent unarmed Muslims by the military and other security agents.
According to him, the security agents also dispersed worshipers from the mosque immediately after the Juma’at prayers.
" Worship places are supposed to be held in high regard, but the team of Nigerian Army and other security agents chose to violate the sanctity of the mosque and right to religious freedom by their actions.
" there was a heavy security patrol across the main streets of the town ostensibly to provoke and instill unnecessary fear in the residents. Such a horrendous situation continued throughout the night.
" Also in Yauri town in Kebbi state, there were similar measures taken by the security agencies there. And just like in Katsina, brothers of the Islamic Movement in the town suspended their preaching session in order to foil the determined efforts by the authorities to kill innocent Muslims.
"Also, the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs in various towns in Kebbi state gave written order to the brothers of the Islamic Movement in their domain that they should cease all their educational activities or they face the wrath of their might.
" Islamic Movement is particularly worried with this unfortunate development, especially in Katsina, where the Governor is reported to have vowed not to trample on the rights of worship by citizens. If what happened in Katsina is not a denial of our right to worship, what then is it?
" We wish to state here categorically that we don’t usurp other people’s right to usage of any mosque where we conduct our educational programs because hold our sessions on convenient times and nobody is forced to attend.
"Hence, since this has been going on peacefully for over the past two decades, those trying to stop it are the persecutors and perpetrators of breaching public peace," he said.
The Oslo Times