A former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has said the proscription of the Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky led Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) by the federal government is ‘’shameful and unconstitutional.”
Fani-Kayode who took to his Tweeter handle in reaction to the ban also alleged that the decision was an “attempt to stop the Shia from practising their faith and to demonise, terrorise, intimidate, scatter, outlaw and destroy the group.”
A Federal High Court in Abuja had declared the movement a terrorist organisation after a series of deadly protests by its members which led to the death of Usman Umar, a Deputy Commissioner of police and Precious Owolabi, a Channels Television reporter.
The group has been holding protests in demand for the release of its detained leader in Nigeria, El-Zakzaky and wife.
Fani-Kayode, however, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “free El Zak Zaky and leave the Shia Muslims alone!”
He wrote; “You ban IMN and then you say that you are not banning the Shia Muslims from practising their faith? How would @MBuhari and the Sunni Muslims feel if JNI or SCIA were banned and labelled as terrorist organisations? What Buhari has done to IMN is shameful and unconstitutional.
“It is an attempt to stop the Shia from practising their faith and to demonise, terrorise, intimidate, scatter, outlaw and destroy them.
“Nigeria is a secular state and Buhari cannot stop ANYBODY from exercising his or her right to freedom of worship and association.
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In another post, Fani-Kayode wrote; “He should stop this Salafist Saudi Arabian-sponsored nonsense at once before it is too late and before Hezbollah decides to join the fray and come to Nigeria.
“We do not want a replica of the Syrian war in our country! Buharii, free El Zak Zaky and leave the Shia Muslims alone!”