Kaduna, Nigeria - Tensions are running high in Kaduna as members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi'ites, express their outrage over the recent demolition of their structures by the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA). Six out of the 48 structures belonging to the sect were demolished on Sunday, prompting a press conference by IMN members.
Accusing Governor Nasir El-Rufai of pushing them to the brink, IMN leaders addressed the media, denouncing the demolition as both "illegal" and "vindictive." They claim that the government's only justification for the demolitions is the ban imposed on IMN. However, the leaders argue that they are a religious community and cannot be banned.
Yunusa Lawal, one of the leaders of the movement, expressed the group's frustration, stating that they had not been served any notice of demolition from the Kaduna State Government or its agencies. Lawal further emphasized their status as law-abiding citizens but stressed that there is a limit to their patience.
Lawal warned of potential bloodshed if the government continues with its actions without heeding the concerns of the people. He stated that if residents had known about the demolitions in advance, they would have reacted strongly, possibly leading to turmoil in the city. He highlighted the history of violence against IMN members since 2015, with frequent killings in Kaduna, Abuja, and other parts of the country.
The IMN leaders called on the government and individuals of good conscience to intervene and halt the ongoing demolitions. They demanded that Governor El-Rufai put an end to what they perceive as an assault on their community.
As Kaduna remains on edge, the situation calls for urgent dialogue and a peaceful resolution to prevent further escalation of tensions between the government and the IMN. The eyes of the nation are now focused on the response of the authorities and their willingness to address the concerns of the Shi'ite community.
Source: Punch Newspaper
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