The presidency has described Shiites members protesting and demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-zakzaky, as those who are stupid.
The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites, have continued to protest against the detention of Mr El-zakzaky.
The cleric has been in detention since members of his movement clashed with personnel of the Nigerian Army in 2017.
Despite granting his release by several competent court of jurisdiction, the federal government has continued to hold the sect leader hostage, citing national security as reason.
Speaking when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said members of the IMN are stupid because the statement of the presidency pertaining to the detention of the cleric clearly shows the government has extended an olive branch to them which they have rejected.
Mr Shehu also said the protesters ought to be celebrating the decision of the Federal Government to end its involvement in the trial of El-zakzaky.
“Those guys are not intelligent. If they had read our statement correctly, they would have seen an olive branch. What is the government saying? We are still open to dialogue and we are willing to abide by adjudication by the court of law,” he said.
“If the Nigerian government says, ‘Our hands are off that case’ (and) the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice says, ‘We no longer have a hand’; if those guys were intelligent, they should be celebrating this.
“But assembling women and young kids and teaching them nothing to do other than insult President Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of this country and you think that will take you somewhere?
“No, I’m sorry, those guys need to think and determine what is right for themselves. If the government were to use force, it is present. But by the decision of the President, we don’t push too hard and they shouldn’t push the government to the wall.
“If they decide otherwise and they want to continue attacking the National Assembly, throwing stones at the police and burning down police vehicles and they think the army and the police are meek and powerless, they shouldn’t test those elements,” Shehu added.
While nothing that under his principal insecurity in the country has reduced compared to other past administrations, the presidential spokesman advised the media to focus on other achievements of the president and turn a blind eye to the killings going on in the nation.