The leader of the Northern Elders’ Forum NEF], Professor Ango Abdullahi has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against pushing the Islamic Movement of Nigeria [IMN] into becoming another terror group like Boko Haram.
Speaking with Vanguard, Prof. Abdullahi warned that unlike Boko Haram, the Shiites have an ideology and could be deadlier than Boko Haram if pushed to the wall.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, warned President Buhari against denying people their right to religion and worship by proscribing them.
He said: “We have laws in this country. Nigerian citizens are to be treated within the ambit of the laws of this country.
“Innocent people are losing their lives and currently, what is happening with the Shi’ites is that they don’t seem to be treated as Nigerians.
“They have rights and their rights should be recognised and given to them.
“We have been watching this thing for a long time. Their matter has been in court for years and their leader has been granted bail for three, four, five years. Why are court rulings not being respected?
“The IMN is a religious group. Why are they treated differently within the laws of Nigeria?
“These are the kind of things that produced a resistance group we have today as Boko Haram. When it started, they were not treated like human beings.
“Rather, they started killing them left, right and centre. Of course they organised themselves and started fighting back and they have been fighting back till today.
“So, if they are not careful and they keep pushing these boys, they will have problem.
“These boys even have an ideology unlike Boko Haram which had none until much later when they linked up with other international groups.
“If they push these ones, I think they would be surprised.
“So, basically, the way they are treating them is wrong. They have rights. If they have misbehaved, they should be treated according to the laws of the country.