Catholic’s Cardinal John Onaiyekan says the IMN ban by President Muhammadu Buhari’s is a step taken too far and forbids a bad omen for Catholics living in Nigeria too.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Onaiyekan said the government crackdown was unjust and a move that sets a worrying precedent for religious freedom in the country.
“Nobody is safe: today it’s the Shiites, tomorrow it could be us Catholics too,” he said.
Cardinal Onaiyekan explained that recently, for the government in Nigeria, the question of Shiite Muslims has become an issue.
He said IMN followers had been holding protests to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been detained in prison for the last four years.
Various tribunals and courts, he noted, had ordered that he be released, and the government has refused to obey the courts’ order.
Thus, Cardinal Onaiyekan said, the established Sunni majority in Nigeria “doesn’t want to recognize that the Shiites are also Muslims, and because of this the government treats them with serious violence”.
He said the Shiites had been holding almost daily protests in the streets of Abuja for over a month.
“From my own understanding, the protests were always peaceful and we never saw them armed,” he said.
And yet, he noted, the government soldiers and policemen had attacked them with arms, rubber bullets, and tear-gas canisters.
“As for us Catholics”, the cardinal said, “we are deeply concerned about this development: “if the government can influence a Court to declare a religious group proscribed, then nobody is safe – today it is the Shiites, tomorrow it might be us Catholics too.”
Noting there has not yet been an official response by the Catholic Church to the situation, he said he expects it is soon to come: “Personally my own position is that we cannot keep quiet and allow this kind of thing to keep going on”.
“If the Shiites break the law of the land they should be held accountable,” the Cardinal said, “but to simply proscribe them, it is going too far.”
JUST IN: Abducted Pastors Of RCCG Has Been Rescued
The Ogun State Police Command has previously verified that one of the survivors of the abducted, Mrs. Ibelegbo Chidinma, who is by the way the only lady among them, was saved unhurt.
The RCCG Deaconess initially recovered her liberty in the early hour of today, August 3, 2019, and is presently at the main offices of the Command in Abeokuta where arrangements are being designed to take her to the Redemption Camp.
At that time, a statement by DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi of the Ogun state police command , stated that the command wish to assure the general public that the remaining victims will soon be rescued.
Shortly afterwards, The Command said it has rescued four other victims abducted on Thursday around J3 forest on Ogbere road, in Ijebu-East Local Government Area of the state.
One of the victims, Mrs. Ibelegbo Chidimma was rescued earlier on Saturday
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed the rescue effort in a terse statement.
“The remaining four victims have been rescued unhurt by men of Ogun State police command.”
Oyeyemi had earlier said, “Efforts are on top gear to rescue the remaining victims, as the kidnappers who kept them in separate locations were changing their locations from time to time within the forest.”
#FreeSowore: How My Boss Was Taken By DSS This Morning – Sowore’s Driver
So many people are still wondering how and why Omoyele Sowore was detained this morning. The presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) in the just concluded election was taken by the was detained by DSS this morning.
It is presumed that he was detained for establishing and promoting the upcoming ‘# RevolutionNow’ protest. The protest which was slated to begin on August 5, was created to tackle the lackadaisical attitude the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a tweet, Sowore had said:
“#RevolutionNow is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor”.
After statistically calculating the entire amount of people promoting the hashtag ‘# RevolutionNow’ and seeing clearly what it could cause, DSS swiftly took action on Saturday’s early hours, invaded Sowore’s home and detained him.
According to TheCable, Sowore’s driver who was at the scene of the arrested narrated the tale,
The driver had said:
“At around past 1am, the armed men knocked on the door. I noticed immediately that these knocks were strange. And didn’t open. I looked and I saw men armed to the teeth,” he wrote.
“They started forcing their way in like armed robbers. But I knew they were DSS men, knowing fully well the attention RevolutionNow has garnered. Sowore wanted to open at first but I immediately told him who they are. He retreated and like magic, he was not in the room when they forced their way in- 8 of them.
“That was when he managed to tweet. By this time, I had been beaten and handcuffed. Phones were snatched from me. An order to block all exits came from the leader when Sowore was not found inside. He was later arrested at the gym in a gestapo manner and dragged after a bit altercation.”
“I quickly seized that opportunity to drive his car (I drive him) to block their SIENNA and Hilux they came in. They hit the Lexus Jeep like kidnappers would do to make way for themselves,” he wrote.
“I followed them immediately till we got to CMD road around Ketu when one of them came down from the SIENNA and corked his gun, threatening to shoot me. I had to escape at that point.”