• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Updated: Again, Shiites, police clash in Abuja



Members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites have again clashed with men of the Nigerian Police Force, who   dispersed n the Shiites, following a protest march organized by the group in parts of the country and the nation’s capital on Friday.

Spokesman of the sect, Ibrahim Musa, told our correspondent on Friday that the march was a prelude to the Arabeen march coming up on Saturday and of course to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zak Zaky held by the Department of Security Service (DSS).

According to Musa, the march was largely peaceful in Kano, Kaduna states and others but in Abuja, the police fired canisters of teargas at the IMN members at Custom Jumàat Mosque zone 3, Abuja as they were marching and chanting free Zakzaky slogans.

As at the time of filing this report, the spokesman said they are compiling report on the incident to ascertain any casualties.

A court in Abuja had declared the group a terrorist organization and proscribed its activities even as the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu had warned that the group will be treated like terrorists should they disturb the peace of the nation.

The sect has clashed severally with the security agencies while demanding the release of their detained leader, leading to casualties. In the last Ashura procession they held nationwide, to commemorate the revered Shia Imam Ali, no fewer than 12 members of the sect died when the security agents tried to stop the procession in September.

In July, the clash between the police and the sect in Abuja led to the death of a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), DCP Usman Umar and a young ChannelsTV reporter serving out his NYSC with the television station.

Recently a court in Kaduna granted El-ZakZaky bail to seek medication in India but controversy over his choice of doctors in the Indian hospital soon led to his sudden return to the country and he has since been held by the DSS.

Our correspondent tried to contact the Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police FCT Command, Anjuguri Manza, to react to the issue but he did not pick his calls neither did he respond to a text message sent to him.

However, unconfirmed reports said that 15 of the sect members were arrested by the police.

 Innocent Odoh