Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), better known as Shiites have disclosed plans to embark on their annual nationwide Arba’een symbolic trek on Saturday.
Naija News reports that the IMN has assured that the symbolic trek will be peaceful and devoid of any attempt to disrupt the right of safe passage to other road users.
This online news platform learned that the Shiites have also assured that there would be no cause for alarm over the Arba’een trek.
The group made this known in a statement by the President, Media Forum of IMN, IIbrahim Musa, who in his statement alleged that security agents might attack the trekkers like they did last year.
In his words, Musa said: “Although some state governments and the federal government have been plotting evil against our peaceful Arba’een trek and commemoration of Imam Husain (AS), we pray that Allah thwart and frustrate their evil plans as he has done in the past.
“Last year’s Arbaeen trek was met with gunfire from the elite Guards Brigade in Abuja, where 57 people were killed. Up till today, the federal government has stubbornly refused to brief the public on the actual reason behind such a barbaric massacre on its citizens and has not initiated any investigation.
“Even though the military made spurious claims to justify the killings it perpetrated on 28-29/10/2018, the video from the march clearly contradicted those claims.
“The melee began that day as more than 1,000 Arbaeen trekkers approached a military checkpoint. Soldiers arrived to block off the road. An armored vehicle with high-caliber weapons patrolled the highway. After soldiers began to fire, they targeted protesters fleeing the chaos. Many of the injured were shot in the back or legs as they were seeking for where to dock and hide, with some shot at close range on the head, chest and stomach.
“Just of recent, Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police stated in the media concerning the Arbaeen by Shiites that they will be treated like terrorists. This is a clear indication that this year’s Arbaeen trek will be attacked by the security like that of last year or that of the Ashura which took place almost 40 days ago, during which several people were killed in each case.
“This is a clear violation of our fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution. How can an unarmed group of people be termed as terrorists? It has never happened anywhere except here in Nigeria.”
While explaining the essence of the trek, the IMN spokesman said in his statement that thus reads in part; “Arba’een, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after the Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Husain (AS) the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). Each year millions of Muslims flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala where the holy tomb of Imam Hussein (AS) is located to perform mourning rites.
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“This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Saturday 19/10/2019 (20/02/1441) globally, hence all preparations are on top gear by the Islamic Movement in joining this world wide event across the country.
“The purpose of the symbolic trek is to recall and experience and the trial and tribulation faced by the Household of the Holy Prophet (AS), who were chained and dragged in the heat of the desert, barefooted from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain (AS) 61 years after Hijra. It is a period of sadness and reflection on the injustice perpetrated at the plain of Karbala.
“However, we would like to assure the general public that, this year’s Arba’een as usual will be peaceful and devoid of any attempt to disrupt the right of safe passage to other road users. There is no cause for alarm over the Arba’een trek. Love for Imam Husain (AS) is not just for the Muslims alone but for all those who love justice and fight against oppression in all ages, ours inclusive.
“We will like to also reiterate our demand for the release of our revered leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) who has now spent four good years in an illegal and unconstitutional detention, even with a valid order from a court of competent jurisdiction instructing his release. We will not rest on our oars until the revered Sheikh, his wife and others in illegal detention since December, 2015 are set free.”