The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites has reacted to the claims that it’s one of the reasons why the United States restrict Nigerians from getting Visa into the US. The Islamic body said that it cannot be the yardstick for such.
According to the statement by the President, Media Forum for Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, he said that there was no basis for the United States to extend visa restrictions to Nigeria simply because of their activities in the country.
Musa while speaking with newsmen on Thursday at Kaduna reacted to claims by former Nigerian Diplomat who cited the movement as one of the reasons the Trump administration might extend visa restriction to Nigeria.
Naija News understands that the new restrictions will apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.
This media also understands that Musa had reacted the to ‘US ban linked with the IMN’ following statement from retired Director of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rasheed Akinkuolie, who noted that Nigeria might have been placed on the US restriction list on the account of its large Shi’ites population.
Akinkuolie had told The PUNCH that “there is a large Shi’ites population in Nigeria and there is a problem between the US and Iran over the killing of the commander of the Quds Forces, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.”
He added that “There have been demonstrations in many northern cities and even in Abuja over the killing of Soleimani and they even burnt US flags. That is a signal. Remember a Nigerian, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to bomb an American plane on behalf of Al-Qaeda.”
However, Musa disagreed with the above claims, insisting that the group could not be the reason for the US planned visa restriction to Nigeria.
“The Movement, over the years, had no history of launching terrorist attack, rather the group had been victims of terror, including the alleged extrajudicial killings of its members,” said Musa.
He added that “the Movement has never taken up arms against the country or against any foreign Nationals or interests in retaliation,”
“there was no basis for citing the Shi’ites for any US action against Nigeria.”
“We are a peaceful Movement with no history of terrorist attack ever in spite of unfair profiling and blackmail.
“We have been victims of state terror – including the extrajudicial killing of hundreds of citizens and hurriedly but secretly mass burial in mass graves, which by any standard, is a war crime.
“Yet, we have never taken up arms against the country or against any foreign Nationals or interests in retaliation. Thus, there is no basis for citing us as the reason for any US action.”