A United States-based think tank, Council on Foreign Relations, has warned the Nigerian government and the security services about the dangers of violating the human rights of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), a Shia religious organisation.
This is coming on the heels of the US President Donald Trump administration’s call for more religious freedom in the world as the States Department marked the International Religious Freedom Day and US Policy on Religious Freedom.
Drawing a parallel with the incident that led to the extrajudicial killing of the founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, a report written by Jack McCaslin, a research associate for Africa Policy Studies at the CFR in Washington, noted that Nigerian security services might be biting more than they could chew.
“Should security service behaviour radicalise the IMN, Abuja would face yet another insurgency for which it is ill-prepared. Despite their similarities, Boko Haram is in the Salafist tradition that generally loathes the Shia, and it is therefore highly unlikely that the two groups would join forces,” McCaslin argued.
The report further noted: “That religious and political movements in Nigeria criticize or purport to offer an alternative to the massively corrupt federal and state governments should not be surprising. But, the government’s frequent and indiscriminate use of force reduces or eliminates the possible peaceful paths that these groups might take in their criticism.
US Council: Nigerian Govt Toying with Shiites’ Insurgency it’s Ill-Prepared For