Both have been held in detention by the authorities since 2015, in defiance of a court order for their release. The ruling followed a little over a week after President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration banned the IMN after weeks of protests by the group.
- Despite Abuja’s claims to the contrary, the IMN is unlikely to take up arms and will continue to stress their commitment to non-violence.
- The federal government’s aggressive stance will remain popular among key Buhari supporters, including the military and Sunni Muslims.
- Iran has a long history with the IMN, but intelligence links are unclear; Tehran likely views the IMN's plight largely as a PR opportunity.