By Andrew Agbese – Daily Trust
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) which comprises Sh’ites says it will go ahead with its annual Arbaeen symbolic trek this year, as it is a religious duty incumbent on its members.
The Shiites usually observe the Arbaeen by trekking en masse to designated places and this year’s exercise is expected to take place in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Pambegua, Malumfashi and Birnin Gwari.
The movement at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday said it is however aware of plots to scuttle the trek by security forces and other sects.
Speaking on behalf of the movement , Nasir Mansur, said the trek is not new in Nigeria and is not a creation of the IMN as it has been done throughout history and worldwide in various ways.
He said, “This year, we are aware of evil plots against the symbolic trek, this we learnt involves a plan by the security forces to attack convoy of trekkers in the name of Boko Haram. We are also aware of some sinister plots by security forces to mount check points and hurdles presumably to obstruct people joining others in this year’s annual Arbaeen trek kicking off in Kano today as I speak to you.”
The IMN also said it has received reports indicating that soldiers have mounted check points at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe State and detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of its members going to Kano for the trek kick off.
“Throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it has never stockpiled, carried or used weapons. It never had a cause to even in the face of provocation. It should be clear that these threats and many more will not deter us from practicing our faith,” Mansur stated and called on those he described as people of conscience to speak out against what he says is a religious discrimination.
There was fatal clash between members of the group and Police earlier today.