The Islamic Movement in Nigeria says the Kano state Police Commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, has reportedly confided in some members of the movement that he will not hesitate to use force on them whenever they come out on their peaceful Free Zakzaky protest in his area of jurisdiction.
This was made known to newsmen in a press statement released by Ibrahim Musa, the President Media Forum of the Islamic Movement, on Thursday.
The movement believed that the Kano CP meant to kill the protesters, when he said he will use force on them, since that is what happened when he used his force on members of the Islamic Movement in 2016 and 2017 during the yearly Arbaeen trek in commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
Below is the press statement in full:
On Wednesday 19th December, 2018, the Kano State Police Commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf invited some members of the Islamic Movement to his office and bluntly threatened to use maximal force against them should they dare to henceforth defy his orders never again to conduct a Free Zakzaky protest in the state.
The Islamic Movement has decided to go public on the issue of this threat of the use of force, despite the fact that it will not in anyway break our resolve and we are not in anyway shaken by this latest threat.
The same CP had on Monday 14/11/2016 sent a detachment of policemen to open fire on thousands of members of the Islamic Movement who were peacefully marching during the Arbaeen religious festival, killing at least 40 people. Till this day, only 18 corpses handed over to us were duly buried according to Islamic rites, the rest were buried secretly by the police. Again on Sunday, 05 November, 2017, the same CP sent a police unit to use live bullets during yet another Arbaeen trek killing at least 3 persons, including an infant.
It is surprising that the CP would toe this line only some moments after the President warned the police against unprofessional conducts such as illegal detentions, extrajudicial killings, torture and violation of fundamental human rights at the convocation and passing out parade of the First Regular Cadet Course at the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State. This recent outburst of the CP clearly goes contrary to the President’s rhetoric that ”We must abide by the constitutional code of conduct in policing our people. It is appropriate to warn you as Police Officers not to see yourselves as being above the Law.”
Free Zakzaky protest is our unassailable right as enshrined in the constitution. The provisions of Sections 38 and 39 of 1999 constitution guarantees our right to congregate peacefully, which is what we have been doing since the illegal detention of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky on 14th December, 2015.
Besides, there is a recent ruling of a Kano state High Court that affirmed the right of Shiites to organise their processions in so far as they are peaceful and do not infringe on the rights of other people. The recent video evidence by the New York Times however has conclusively proved that our processions are usually peaceful, don’t block the free flow of traffic but are attacked by security forces without provocation.
To this end, we call on the public and in particular the international community to prevail upon the Commissioner of police to thread cautiously in his inordinate hatred against peaceful unarmed protesters. He must be called to order not to carry out his senseless threat to kill innocent unarmed citizens who are exercising their right to peaceful protest as guaranteed by the constitution.
If the CP and his superiors are uncomfortable with incessant free Zakzaky protests, are advised to do the needful to obey a 2016 court judgement freeing our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife from their illegal incarceration. Only this will bring an end to the protest and not threats or intimidations. Threats will only strengthen our resolve to fight for our Rights and protect them.