The Kaduna State government has described the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), as an insurgent group.
The government’s position was contained in a white paper released on Monday, on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 2015 clash, between soldiers and members of the IMN in Zaria.
The white paper also blamed the group for the clash and recommended the investigation and prosecution of any of its members found to have been involved in any form of human rights abuse, since their existence in Zaria over 30 years ago.
The government’s white paper however absolved the Nigerian army from any act of human right violation in the Zaria clash, insisting that the army abides by the rules of engagement.
This is not the first in the series of statements and orders made against the Islamic group.
In October, the Kaduna State Government had issued an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful association.
Also in November, the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had expressed concern that the group, also known as the Shiites Islamic sect, if allowed to exist, is capable of threatening the corporate existence of the country.
According to him, the group has an agenda to cause a religious conflict in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the group in a swift reaction by its spokesman Ibrahim Musa, rejected the white paper describing it as an exercise in futility by the Kaduna state governor, who according to him is trying to justify what they describe as the massacre by the army in 2015.
The Shiites have continued to protest against the detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in custody since December 13, 2015.
A federal high court in Abuja has however ordered the Department of State Services (DSS), to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic movement in Nigeria, within 45 days.