A Coalition of Human Rights and National Interfaith and Religious Organistions for Peace, made up over 500 civil society groups, Thursday, protested the role of Iranian Ambassador, Saeed Koozechi in the recent Shiite crisis.
The protesters marched to the Iranian embassy in Abuja, displaying placards with inscriptions, “we rejects threat to our sovereignty by Ambassador Saeed Kozeechi. We reject sponsors of extreme religious views and doctrines. We say no to terrorism and political cells. We call for expulsion of Saeed from Nigeria soil,” among others.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, National President/Convener of the Coalition, Bishop Musa Fomson, rejected threats to the sovereignty of the nation by Ambassador Saeed Koozechi.
Explaining why the activities of the Shiite must be condemned, Fomson said, “to abuse the freedom of choice guaranteed in Nigeria is to take away the rights of all of us to choose. For years, Nigerians – especially those in some parts of Kaduna state, endured the tyrannical disposition of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or Shiite Sect that constantly use its processions to deprive those of other sects and faiths of access to national infrastructures like free passage on public roads that it takes over for its marches.
“The Shiite Sect imposed its will on others because it had raised for itself an army – there is documentary evidence of this in video and photo formats readily available and can be accessed with a simple online search.
“It was this same IMN militant wing that attempted to assassinate Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff under the pretext of denying him right of way except he listened to their alleged grievances.”
Speaking on the disturbing trend of Iran’s involvement in the whole saga, the convener said “Iran, which has up till date not done much by way of supporting Nigeria to tackle extremism related insurgency like Boko Haram, became the champion-in-chief of the Shiite Sect in its uprising against the state.”
He said: “Comments from senior Iranian officials in the aftermath of the Zaria incidents were debasing to the extent that an uninformed person would be tempted to believe the whole of Nigeria was just another province of Iran. Many of the comments actively emboldened IMN members to rise against the Nigeria state while some went as far as hinting at physical invasion of our dear fatherland.
“The worst of these inflammatory comments were from the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saeed Koozechi, who has new utterances for each new week aimed at stoking Shiite extremism.
“Koozechi’s affront was to the point where he suggested that Nigeria will burn for detaining IMN leader, Mr Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky, “Nigeria is pouring fuel on fire” was the comment credited to him in several publications.
“He had further gone ahead to suggest that we should accord Shiites status that is kind of above the law, where they can practice as they deemed fit – which in the past had entailed inflicting hardship on the rest of us when they hold their street orgies.
“Koozechi’s tele-guiding of the IMN has bolstered the Shiite Sect to the point where they now issue videos to threaten the Nigerian state and public officials. The Ambassador is now grooming a new wing of Shiites within the FCT and its environs.
“We cannot afford another band of extremists loose on the land in addition to the Islamic State affiliated Boko Haram.”
The group however called on the Federal Government to immediately expel the Iranian Ambassador, Saeed Koozechi from Nigeria.