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PRESS RELEASE: THE OFFICIAL PERSECUTION OF THE SHI‘A MINORITY RELIGIOUS GROUP IN NIGERIA PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 18:29

By Prof Dahiru Yahaya
1. We, the Shi‘a minority religious group in Nigeria, are made to understand that the Federal Government in a court submission erroneously alleges that we are sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran to undertake an Islamic revolution in Nigeria. 

This is the reason it opposes us vehemently and persecutes and terrorises us extremely. This is too far from the truth. At any rate, persecution and state terrorism do not stop a revolution. Shi‘ism is a universal faith. All universal faiths in Nigeria have international linkages. We share common confessional beliefs with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

2. However, the Shi'a minority religious group in Nigeria disagree fundamentally with the Iranian State on the question of activism. The Iranians DISCOURAGE activism in Nigeria. We are activists because of state persecution and terrorism directed against us. We are financially independent of any state. We raise our funds through sadaqa (voluntary donations) from members with as little as N 10.

3. Our understanding of the geopolitics of the contemporary world is that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not use money to expand its influence in the world; it relies on indirect self-automated grassroots ideological mobilisation where the historical and social background of the area, such as Nigeria, is receptive to such ideas. As long as the Nigeria State remains existentially corrupt and the Nigerian masses see solution in Shi‘a ideas, there is nothing proper that anybody can do against it.

4. The crux of the matter is that the Federal Government of Nigeria appears to be pursuing the existentially corrupt and violent Saudi Arabian agenda in which Saudi petrodollars are following into the pockets of unscrupulous people associated with some governments of Nigeria. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia said publicly in Washington echoed in DW, the German radio that his country was behind the mass killing of the Shi‘a in Zaria by the Nigerian military.

5. The Federal Government knows that Boko Haram Saudi is an ideological agenda promoted by its Salafi/Wahhabi/Izala religious surrogates within and around the Nigerian government. The Saudi Arabian State runs separatist mosques and schools throughout northern Nigeria, which preach violence daily and teach hatred, greed, dishonesty and indiscipline, the warning of the government of the United States of America against it notwithstanding. The Nigerian State remains as if conspiringly silent and dishonest. All the crises, civil strife, disobedience, and terrorism in the northern states today derive from that that Saudi teaching and that Saudi preaching.

6. The seemingly blind endorsement of the Saudi religious policy by the Federal Government is steadily leading Nigeria to destruction in the way of Syria, Libya, Sudan and Yemen. The state can survive without religion, but will ultimately collapse with injustice according Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodio, the great fighter against corruption. The Nigerian State is unjust.

7. The Shi‘a followers abhor any forms of violence and have no record of any harm to any individual. They have never broken even the window glasses of any Government offices in their legitimate demonstrations. It is on record that Shi'ism does not allow corporal punishment to even one's children without permission from religious authority.

8. It is most unfortunate and regrettable that the Federal Government has always displayed sectarian prejudice and religious imbalance in its activities and composition.

9. The Shi‘a minority Islamic movement in Nigeria BELIEVES ABSOLUTELY in the following:

 The protection of the Sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria internally and from corrupt foreign regimes

 Compliance with the Nigerian constitution and especially its sublime values of the freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of speech and especially its freedom of conscience

 The upholding of the Rule of Law, responsible governance, civil discipline, personal assertion, self-determination and societal growth

 Promotion emphatically of National unity through co-operation between all religious groups against corruption

 Establishment of Inter-religious solidarity between Christians and Muslims and many Christians today are sympathisers of the Shia activities

 The teaching of Universal Brotherhood, equality of humanity and love to all as Kofi Anan as Secretary General of the United Nations noted in respect of Shi’ism with admiration and recommendation. Shi‘ism was the first to advocate this philosophy as a tool of governance in history

 The SPREAD of education, engagement in selfless healthcare and other humanitarian services that the Nigerian State is deficient.

 Abhorrence of, and oppositions to, personal immorality and existential state corruption including street begging by children and physically disabled people

10. The Shi‘a minority Islamic group in Nigeria insists on the following:

 Its constitutional right to freedom of worship; it is the business of the government to respect the sensitivities and sensibilities of all religions in this country including the Shi‘a minority

 Shall remain focussed and is confident in the rapid growth of its followership among the grassroots and the elites of this country

 The belief in its ultimate victory because history is there to prove it, the future belongs to the God-conscious.

 The reservation of the right to defend itself and to preserve its constitutional right to religious freedom at ANY and ALL COSTS for its glory and the GLORY OF NIGERIA.

Allah shall bless us ALL and the NIGERIAN STATE,
Thank you

Professor Dahiru Yahya, PhD, FHSN
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Kano, September 3, 2019