A group of protesters under the aegis of the Sovereign Rights Coalition on Wednesday in Abuja, called on the Federal Government to severe diplomatic relationship with the Republic of Iran over the role played by the country during the attack on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria led by Ibrahim El-Zak zaky.
The incident took place in December 2015 when members of the IMN led by El-Zakzaky attacked the convoy of Buratai in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The civil rights organisation said this during a peaceful protest to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), where they also called for the prosecution of El-Zakzaky.
The spokesperson for the SRV, Daniel Obaje, described as blackmail, the comments by human rights groups and some Western media on the developments in the country as it concerned security.
He said, “It is pertinent for the Federal Government to commence the arraignment and prosecution of the leader of the sect for terror charges. We have also discovered that the relationship between our country and the Republic of Iran has become cancerous and will only be beneficial if such detrimental tie is severed to prevent further damage.
“It is also chief amongst our demands that apart from ceasing all diplomatic relationships with the Iranian Republic, a total removal of her Embassy from the Nigerian soil is pertinent and apt. All blackmail by bodies including human rights groups as well as the Western media should come to an end as it amounts to an affront on the sovereignty of Nigeria.
“It is no news that the group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, led by its leader, Mr. Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had launched an attack on the Chief of Army Staff and his convoy in Kaduna where, in the course of the operation, he was arrested and a cache of arms was recovered.
“It has been nearly a year since this unfortunate event and these debauchers have continued to exhibit this impermissible crass negligence of the nation’s sovereignty in their hooded attempts to annex the nation to form their own Republic.”
According to Obaje, the IMN extremists had been allowed to further destabilise the nation and its integrity through alleged sponsored protests and media campaigns accompanied with blackmail using international organisations and the media.
A Director in the AGF Office and Ministry of Justice, Ms. Princess Okorie, who received the protesters on behalf of Malami, appreciated their efforts and promised to channel all their grievances to the appropriate quarters.