Members of the El-Zakzaky group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) on Thursday declared that their association with the government and people of Iran was not for subversive purposes against the Federal Government.
The spokesman for the group, Malam Mohammadu Ibrahim Tamawa, made the declaration when he spoke with the Newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the relationship his movement had been sustaining with the Iranian government could be likened to the one existing between the Pope and the Catholic Church in Nigeria.
He said that if the Catholic Church in Nigeria could maintain such a relationship with the Pope, there was no reason IMN could not engage the Iranian government in a similar way.
Tamawa said no Catholic Bishop could be ordained in Nigeria without the authority of the Vatican and the Bishop of Rome (The Pope).
‘’The same is true of the relationship between the Anglicans and the Archbishop of Canterbury,’ he said.
The spokesman said that his movement had not been engaged in undertaking the forced conversion of people to Islam.
He, therefore, wondered why the Federal Government had been treating members of his movement as terrorists whenever they engaged in any of their activities.
Tamawa urged the federal government to charge them to court if they have in any way violated the law of the land.
‘’We are ready to go to court and we believe that Nigerian judges are independent. The rules are there.
‘’ Our ‘Arbaeen’ rallies this week were meant to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein., the great-grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
‘The rallies were also designed to press home our demand for the release of our leader from detention as ordered by the court’, Tamawa said.
He said the members of the IMN are responsible citizens who, as a group, constituted the largest group of blood donors to the nation’s blood bank, including for the military.
Tamawa said the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) group would continue to stage protest rallies to backup their demand and to commemorate their religious activities.