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By Sameer El-hajj
For long, I have been expressing my concern over the psychological normalcy of Governor El-Rufa’i of Kaduna state. Something is definitely wrong, which could either be a biological psychotic problem or a psychosomatic disorder. The prayers of people whom he cheated, exploited, and oppressed during his tenure as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory must be taken into consideration, could that really be the source of his disorder?

The Islamic movement in Nigeria, which is led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, have never considered governor El-Rufa’i as an enemy. In fact, during his gubernatorial campaign, he was tagged as a Shi’itte and ally of the IMN, which he never disputed, rather when asked in an interview with a private station (DITV) on the widely circulated allegations, he then made it pubic that he sympathized with Sheikh Zakzaky for the loss of his 3 children, on the basis of humanity.

How comes, the humanitarian El-Rufa’i of 2014, who paid a condolence visit to Sheikh Zakzaky, is currently on the move stigmatizing IMN with all sorts of nonsensical names and allegations. We may ask the governor a simple question, when was insurgency injected into the philosophy of IMN? If it was an insurgent group for the past 40 years, then are we free to tag the governor as a former insurgents ally? Yes of course, it is not an assumption; rather the 2014 visit is factual evidence which we possessed.

It is time to help the governor with a brief clarification of some social issues, for all his actions depict ignorance, and there is a need for the uninformed Governor to have an insight on the social identity and philosophy of IMN before proceeding with the unlawful stigmatization. To understand the social identity of the Islamic Movement we must be conversant with when and why individuals identify with, and behave as part of, the group, adopting shared attitudes to outsiders.

We categorize objects in order to understand them, in a very similar way we categorize people
(Including ourselves) in order to understand the social environment. We use social categories like black, white, Sunni, Shiite, IMN, Izala, and Bus driver because they are useful. If we can assign people to a category then that tells us things about those people. Without an understanding of people’s groups and categories, we would have a very difficult time functioning in society.

Similarly, we find out things about ourselves by knowing what categories we belong to. We define appropriate behaviour by reference to the norms of groups we belong to, but you can only do this if you can tell who belongs to your group. I can attest as a member of the IMN that the bedrock of the movement is to emancipate humanity in order to render services to the needy which include blood donations, rescue missions during ethnic and religious conflicts, and more.

For us, IMN is a movement that guide our affairs, and make us to prepare for a life after death. IMN is a movement which main focal point is to transform and make a change in our attitudes, from bad to good, deviants to conformist, irreligious to religiously inclined fellows. The movement socialize members on how to treat other individuals irrespective of the differences in religion, ethnicity, region, and race. The movement teaches men to respect women, and to avoid any form of maltreatment or violence against the weaker gender.

Violence and any form of irresponsibility, or deviation is against the philosophy of IMN, we were targeted and killed, we never engage in a reprisal attack, though we knew and live with the culprits and perpetrators. We were targeted for victimization, seizure of land and properties, unlawful arrest and incarceration of our members, yet we remain calm and focus. With all the aforementioned examples of our excessive patience, we were tagged as unlawful society, and now the white paper labelled us as insurgents. Wow!

Comrade Sameer El-hajj