The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has explained reason for proscribing the Islamic Movement of Nigeria also known as Shiites, saying the movement indulges in criminality and violence.
It said in a statement that the government’s action was to halt the killings and wanton destruction of both public and private property by the IMN.
The statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, partly read, “The Presidency explains that contrary to the claim by IMN that it had been banned from practising its religion, President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s administration has not banned Shi’ites from observing their five daily prayers and going to Mecca to perform the Holy pilgrimage. Their position is blatantly false and deceptive.
“The IMN is deliberately changing the narrative in order to gain sympathy and divert the attention of the world from its terrorist activities, including attacking soldiers, killing policemen and a youth corps member, destroying government ambulances and public property, consistently defying authority of the state.
“The Presidency agrees that the constitution protects freedom of worship, but not to the detriment of society, especially where such freedom harms others, and breaks law and order.”
It added that any behaviour that would endanger the lives of other Nigerians would not be welcomed by the Buhari administration.