A group of protesters under the platform of Concerned Citizens for Defence of Nigeria on Monday stormed the Iranian Embassy in Abuja, calling for the country's nationals to leave its territory.
According to Convener of the group, Mrs Victoria Ameh, the rally was necessitated by Iran's attempt to cause unrest in Nigeria through its sponsorship and support of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by detained cleric, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Ameh alleged that the Iranian Government had made huge sums available to IMN to destabilise and overthrow the Nigerian Government.
According to the group, “Iran would stop at nothing until they achieved their desire to see to the collapse of Nigeria, and this is what Nigerians have come out to reject in its entirety.
“The Government of Iran has indeed exhibited an act that is not only despicable but of poor taste because it has indeed begun a futile attempt at causing havoc in Nigeria through their proxy, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
“They have sponsored the violent activities of IMN against other peaceful practicing Muslims that do not share in their extremist ideology and that has resulted in deaths and incapacitation.
“We are also demanding that the Nigerian Government begins the process of identifying all the interests of Iran in Nigeria and consequently activating the relevant machinery towards expelling them from Nigeria.”
But reacting to the group of protesters when contacted by SaharaReporters, IMN through the Secretary of its Academic Forum, Abdullahi Musa, denied working with the Iranian Government to distabilise Nigeria, adding that it was a peaceful organisation interested in the development of the country.
He said, “We don't receive any support from any nation, not just Iran. How much can someone give you to sacrifice your life for a cause?
“Are people not seeing how the Nigerian authorities are using all sorts of weapons to kill us on so many occasions? They jail, torture and even put the bodies of our members in mass graves.
“All these did not make us stop what we are doing, in fact it gives us more courage because we believe in our cause.
“I believe this group making these allegations is being sponsored to protest against Iran in order to strengthen Nigeria’s relationship with the United States of America.”