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Shiites set for annual Arba’een trek nationwide

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have concluded arrangements to embark on their annual nationwide Arba’een symbolic trek.

The trek is to mark the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

The group, however, said that the symbolic trek would be peaceful and devoid of any attempt to disrupt the right of safe passage to other road users.

It also explained that there is no cause for alarm over the trek.

Leader of the group in Bauchi State Imam Ahmad Yusuf said the event will be peaceful journey and any attempt to disrupt their gathering will be a clear violation of their fundamental human rights, and freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution.

On the essence of the trek, the IMN spokesman said: “Arba’een, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after the Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

“Each year millions of Muslims flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala”. Since we can’t go to Karbala, we will try to emulate what our brothers are doing in order to get reqard from Allah by trekking to somewhere along Zaria axis, pray and depart.

Imam  Yusuf said the purpose of the trek was to experience the trial and tribulation faced by the household of the Holy Prophet who was chained and dragged in the scorching desert, barefoot from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain 61 years after Hijra.

“In Nigeria, the Islamic Movement under the leadership of Ibraheem Yakub Zakzaky, we use to conduct the trek just to symbolize what happened.

“There are about seven axis that the Muslim brotherhood use to gather and conduct this trek, we have the Kano, Kastina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi and Plateau axis.

“Before 2015, we use to trek from the starting point of this Bauchi axis up to Zaria, where we meet the leader. From there, he gives the closing remarks and people return to their states.

“From 2015, after the Buhari regime descended on the Islamic movement, especially our leader, killing thousands of people, the government took it upon itself to prevent this trek, particularly in Kaduna state.

“Since that time, we usually hold press conferences to enlighten the public on the importance of the trek.

“So there is no need for the authorities to descend on us or attack us. This is the essence of calling on the media to enlighten the public that there is no reason to panick.

“We have the right in the constitution to practice our religion without any fear or intimidation as Muslims, ” he said 

Imam Yusuf said that they have informed the security, traditional rulers, religious leaders and other members of the public concerning the trek so that it will be peaceful. 

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