By Ibrahim Musa
On 31 March, 2018, a contingent of soldiers in five vehicles encircled the demolished Islamic centre of members of the Islamic Movement in Jos and arrested two persons, who were part of a Islamic studies learning session taking place in the centre.
Unfortunately, to date, the arrested persons have not been charged of any offence and have not been released to their families. Those arrested are Idris Muhammad and Awwal Husain.
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The fact that members of the Islamic Movement were just conducting a religious obligation in a centre they legally own when they were pounced upon by the Army is enough a pointer to the Army’s complicity in executing a religious vendetta by some unscrupulous people.
We condemn this disheartening attitude of the Army in the strongest terms.
That was how they were used in 2016 when the centre was burnt and vandalized in collaboration with some vagabonds belonging to a religious organization.
We will like to remind the authorities of the military special task force in Jos that the Nigerian Army is supposedly non-partisan when it comes to religious affairs, it has no business whatsoever in handling any religious dispute, if at all there is any. And in this particular case it is not even a dispute, but a case of some Nigerians discharging their religious duty peacefully at their legally owned center when soldiers were sent to intimidate and harass them.
The Islamic Movement, hereby call on the relevant authorities for the immediate release of the duo, so that they can be reunited with their families because they have wronged nobody. It is equally important to suggest that to avert a reoccurrence of such misinformed blunder, whenever some disgruntled elements of the public gave them a false alarm against the Islamic Movement, they should first investigate and report the matter to the police, since it is a civil matter. Their presence in our gatherings is unwanted, uncalled for and utterly shameful to their status.
By Ibrahim Musa, President media forum Islamic Movement in Nigeria.