By Benjamin Idakwo
Concerned Citizens for Defence of Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, yesterday stormed the Iranian Embassy in Abuja, calling for the country’s nationals to leave Nigeria.
The protesters in their hundreds demanded the immediate expulsion of Iranians residents and their agents in Nigeria.
Convener of the group, Mrs. Victoria Ameh, said the rally was necessitated by Iran’s fresh attempt at causing havoc in Nigeria through their proxy, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
Formed about four decades ago, the group stated that IMN advocates the creation of an Iranian-style Islamic state in Nigeria some years ago.
The Concerned Citizens asserted that IMN was heavily influenced by the Iranian revolution, which saw Ayatollah Khomeini take power in 1979 after the overthrow of the US-allied Shah in a popular uprising.
The group further alleged that the Iranian government has pumped in millions of dollars in a bid to destabilize and overthrow the Nigerian government.
According to the group, “Iran would stop at nothing until they achieve their desire to see to the collapse of Nigeria, and this is what Nigerians in their numbers have come out to reject in its entirety.”
It added that the latest move stems from the fact that Nigeria, just like many other countries did not take sides with it over the diplomatic row it had with the United States of America over the killing of one of its top military commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.
The Concerned Citizens, therefore, warned that Nigeria’s integrity cannot be shaken, advising Iranian citizens and businesses to forthwith leave its shores.
“We, the members of the Concerned Citizens for the Defence of Nigeria, are gathered here today to send a strong message to the Iranian authorities in the light of the various revelations concerning how they have been plotting to see to the disintegration of Nigeria to suit their despicable purpose.
“We are here, not because we do not have other engagements. But it is indeed a statement of fact that above all and in pursuit of our core mandate as an organization devoted to the defense of Nigeria from external sources through advocacies and civil means brings this strong message on behalf of the over 180 million Nigerians who do not have anywhere to call home but Nigeria to the Government of Iran.
“As we all know, the activities of the IMN is fully sponsored by the Government of Iran from time immemorial. They have sponsored the violent activities of IMN against other peaceful practicing Muslims that do not share in their extremist ideology that has resulted in deaths and incapacitation.
“One of the contemptible acts of the IMN was the attempted assassination of the Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria, where his entourage was ambushed on his way to an official function in Zaria-Nigeria. Also, the IMN has held violent protests in some parts of the country, especially the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja that led to the death of a senior police officer and many more deaths.
“We believe that this new onslaught by the Government of Iran stems from the fact that Nigeria, just like many other countries refused to take sides with it over the diplomatic row it had with the United States of America over the killing of one of its top military commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.
“That Nigeria refused to back its atrocities in the international community is why the Government of Iran has vowed to take its pound of flesh with the renewed onslaught against Nigeria by infiltrating the country with mercenaries to destabilize the country manifest in the spate of kidnappings and other despicable activities that are threatening the peace and tranquility in Nigeria.
“The Government of Iran is also the brain behind the violent protests across the country with the ultimate aim of causing economic and political unrest. They have set aside vast sums of monies in the regard as well as the deployment of sophisticated arms and ammunitions to the IMN group in Nigeria.
“The generality of Nigerians are united in this accord to see that Iranian officials and businesses leave Nigeria in the interest of peace as Nigeria is not a part and would never be an annex of Iran through which they can import their extremist ideology to the African continent” it said.