The Nigerian Army has reportedly carried out a raid on the premises of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Katsina state.
IMN’s leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky is still in the detention of the military.
IMN said the raid, which it described as an attack in a statement released on Thursday, March 2, allegedly occurred in the early hours of the same day.
The group said the Army’s action was ‘provocative’, ‘uncalled for’ and ‘unnecessary’.
Even though it admitted that no guns were fired in raid, the IMN said many of its members were left injured after being beaten mercilessly with clubs and sticks by soldiers.
A copy of the statement acquired by NAIJ.com read: “Heavily armed soldiers in armored vehicles stormed the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Center in Katsina yesterday, 02/03/17 in the middle of the night trying to gain forcible entry, injuring some IMN members who were there.
“IMN believes had it been the soldiers were on a peaceful mission trying to perform their duties according to the law and order, they wouldn’t have done what they did, beating those they met with clubs and sticks. Luckily they didn’t fire any shot, but they left several people seriously injured.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria view this as an open provocation, which is uncalled for and unnecessary. Why did they come at midnight without prior notice and any search warrant? Who sent them and what was the mission?
“IMN believes this is not an isolated incident since earlier in the week, some armed soldiers invaded another IMN center in Jos, Plateau state, in the same manner, though in broad daylight.
“IMN center in Sokoto was also subjected to the same intimidation by armed soldiers a week earlier. What is common to all these places is that the attacks are simply being carried out by the security operatives for no reason. The question what is the motive of the soldiers and on whose authority are they carrying out these infringements on our rights?
“It seems those behind these provocative attacks were the same people who planned and executed the Zaria massacre of December 2015 where 1000+ of innocent civilian lives were killed by the Nigerian Army.”
The Army has yet to comment on the allegations made in the IMN’s statement.
This development comes just hours after Katsina Governor Aminu Masari signed an order banning any form of unlawful assembly of people in any part of the state.
The ban was announced on Thursday in Katsina in a statement signed by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Abdu Labaran.
Labaran said that the order, signed on Feb 27, was in consonance with the power conferred on the governor by Section 97A of the Penal Code.