‘Stop inciting security agencies against us’ – IMN tells DSS

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on Monday has asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to stop inciting other security agencies against them.
The IMN alleged that, it recently got a report that the Department of State Service (DSS) dispatched to all Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and heads of other security agencies urging them to take aggressive stance against the group.
A statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, President of Media forum of the Movement quoted DSS letter, thus: “Intelligence availed to this service revealed plans by the leadership of IMN to mobilise its membership in large numbers for a massive protest and other hostile activities, including the use of explosives and firearms in the days ahead. It was gathered that the group intends to besiege some major Northern cities and towns in Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the planned attack.
“The planned attack is to be carried out in league with members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), some opposition elements and a section of human rights movement, with a view to providing massive violence and attracting the attention of the International Community ahead of the 2019 general election,” Musa’s statement further quoted the DSS letter.
Musa, however, denied the reports by the DSS, assuring the international community that the allegation is malicious and unfounded, which was just aimed at maligning the movement and painting it in bad light ahead of the February 16 elections.
‘We have said it several times that our protests are peaceful and have demonstrated that on the streets. All protest staged by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria are peaceful including the Free Zakzaky protest in Kaduna, Kano and the Federal capital city, Abuja.
“It is the Nigerian army and police that turn some of these peaceful protests violent by their attacks with live ammunition and in some cases battlefield weapons on peaceful protesters. The comprehensive revelation by the New York Times video on the Abuja Shia Massacre by the Elite Presidential Guard is a pointer to this fact.
“Not only that, it is on record that during the 2011 election violence, Sheikh Zakzaky and other members of the Islamic Movement did all they could to stop the violence and even gave refuge to victims of the senseless killings, as a demonstration of its peaceful nature and its belief in mutual understanding between people of different tribes, regions and religions.
“For a secret security service to now accuse us of planning violence is the height of the rot in its intelligence gathering and manufacturing systems,” the president maintained.
Musa further urged Nigerians and the international community to disregard the claims by the DSS.
He, then reiterated the Movements demand of the unconditional release of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and others who are still in detention since 2015, despite an order by a high court in Abuja since 2016 directing their release.