Members of the Shiite group, Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN)

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has decried its involvement in any terror operation system as alleged by the federal government.

The group in a statement issued on Wednesday by its President Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is bent on using the false flag terror operation system to tarnish its image.

The group stressed that the use of terror tactics is simply not in its modus operandi, and has never been.

The statement reads in full: “It seems the devilish plot by the Buhari regime to annihilate the Islamic Movement in Nigeria which was kick-started during the Zaria massacre carried out by the Nigerian Army in December 2015 is still being pursued.

“This time around, the regime is bent on using the false-flag terror operation system to tarnish the image of the Islamic Movement.

“It has become absolutely necessary to state in unequivocal terms once again that the use of terror tactics is simply not our modus operandi, and has never been, as evidenced by our incessant peaceful campaigns, even in the face of state provocations in the last five years.

“This is not about to change. It is therefore a mark of the government’s desperation to now spread some sinister leaflets through a faceless group, claiming to be part of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and fighting for the release of our illegally incarcerated leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.

“This faceless group plans to use our yearly Quds day peaceful processions as spring board for their nefarious activities.

Hence, we find it necessary to reiterate our earlier stand that Sheikh Zakzaky in his over forty years sojourn as the leader of the Islamic Movement has never considered terror as a means of achieving the aims and goals of the Islamic Movement.

“He believes in using peaceful means and practices same in all his religious activities. Our upcoming Quds day rallies and processions is a global event to be observed in several cities across the world, and it has never been a day of using violence to make the public understand the persecution and apartheid system practised by the Zionists regime in Israel on Palestine.

“Let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time that the government would be attempting to use false flag operations in an attempt at falsely and unjustifiably linking the Movement to terrorism.

“In the aftermath of the Zaria massacre, the Army and its paid clerics trumpeted that “the Islamic Movement is worse than Boko Haram” in order to justify the massacre.

“However, the public hasn’t swallowed such shallow propaganda, such that even the USA believes our leader Sheikh Zakzaky is a political prisoner and the Islamic Movement is a victim of persecution by the Buhari regime.

“So you can count us out of any diabolic and gruesome terror attack that agents of government may carry out in our name. They are still trying to bury their crimes against humanity under the carpet having failed woefully to frame the Movement in various court actions.

“Finally, for five years, this government has refused to hearken to the voice of reason to release our leader Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife and others in detention since December 2015.

“Hence we urge well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to come out clearly in demanding for the freedom of our leader.”