Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, the supreme leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has rejected a purported plan for military action against coup plotters in Niger. He emphasized the deep-rooted cultural and historical ties between Nigeria and its northern neighbor, warning against any divisive actions that may undermine the brotherhood between Nigerians and Nigeriens.
Addressing his followers from his residence in Abuja, Zakzaky highlighted the shared roots and values between Nigeria and Niger, expressing disbelief that the two nations would ever fight against each other. He denounced the idea of using Nigeria to attack Niger, stating that such actions would lead to fratricidal genocide.
Zakzaky brought attention to the historical links between the two countries, mentioning their shared cultural heritage and the remnants of once-mighty empires that straddle the modern border. Notably, he pointed out that cities such as Borno, Hadejia, Gumel, Daura, and Katsina were divided during the colonial era, with parts annexed to Niger.
“The cultural ties that Niger and Nigeria share are closer than people imagine. The territories of empires founded by Shehu Usman Danfodio and Kanem Borno were carved out to create Niger and Nigeria. They did not take our history into cognizance when our borders were partitioned,” Zakzaky explained.
Addressing concerns raised by some Nigeriens who fear a potential attack from Nigeria, Zakzaky reassured them that Nigerians are not their enemies. He suggested that the real threat comes from foreign powers seeking to use Nigeria for their purposes.
“Even if the threat of invasion appears genuine (May Allah forbid this), we are not the ones attacking you,” Zakzaky stated.
The Sheikh’s remarks came amid growing concerns about potential foreign interference in the region, emphasizing the need for peace and understanding between the two neighboring nations.