PANDEMONIUM broke out in the ancient city of Kano, on Wednesday, as hundreds of youths attacked El-Zakyzaky (Shi’ite) members during their procession along the streets to observe the Ashoura, which marked the tenth day of Muharram, that coincides with the first month of the Islamic calendar of Muslims worldwide.
Also, a similar occurrence was experienced on Zango Road, in Tudun Wada area of Kaduna metropolis Wednesday morning, leading to the death of three people.
Eyewitness told Metro that trouble began when some youths in the area barricaded the popular Zango Road, Kaduna, apparently to stop procession by members of the disbanded shi’ite group.
However, prompt intervention of the police averted what could have been a bloody clash between the angry youths and the Shi’ites in Kano.
It was gathered that trouble started when the Shi’ites, in their thousands, allegedly blocked major roads in the city during a procession, despite its ban by the police.
An eyewitness, one Muhammed Audu, said as early as 7.30 a. m, the Shi’ite members came from neighbouring states and converged at the popular abattoir situated at the centre of the city.
He disclosed that the Shi’ites were preparing to proceed to their designated Fagge mosque, close to Fagge Police Station and the Local Government Secretariat where they usually observed the Ashoura, when a confrontation ensued between them and some angry youths.
Audu added that residents started hurling missiles on them to register their displeasure over the conduct of their procession.
Metro further gathered that the residents were angry because Shi’ites were blocking their business premises, depriving them of right to carry on their businesses.
Confirming the incident, the Kano State Police Command image maker, DSP Magaji Musa Majiya, told Metro that “our men were promptly drafted to strategic places, following anticipated procession by the Shi’ites to observe Ashoura.”
He said if not for the quick intervention of the police, who were deployed to the scene to save the situation, it could have been deadly.
In Kaduna, a source disclosed that “there were solidarity protests by members of the movement in Katsina, Kano and Sokoto states.
“This morning, we heard it from some of their members that they were coming out en masse to block the road.
“So we mobilised and decided to block the road. Some of them were adamant, as they came out of their houses and thus pandemonium broke, leading to the death of three people from their side, while some youths set the house of one of the shi’ite leaders ablaze.”
Commenting on the fracas, the police image maker in Kaduna State, ASP Aliyu Usman, said the police were on top of the situation.
On the number of deaths, he said the police were yet to ascertain the number of those killed, but was quick to add that 10 people were arrested.
3 killed, 2 policemen injured in Police/Shi’ites’ clash in Funtua
The police in Katsina State said no fewer than three persons died during a clash between policemen and Shi’ites in Funtua Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, stated this during a news briefing on Wednesday in Funtua.
Abdullahi said that two policemen were also injured during the clash.
According to him, the police had arrested 46 people, comprising men and women for participating in the unlawful procession.
He said the incident occurred when members of the Shi’ite group attempted to burn the Police Area Commander’s office in the town during the procession.
The commissioner also said that members of the group opened fire on policemen using dane guns, which he said, compelled the police to retaliate, killing three persons.
According to him, one of the sect members killed wore a mobile police uniform.
The commissioner said that the police recovered five dane guns, sticks, cutlasses, among other locally made weapons from members of the group.
Police confirm killing of suspected Shi’ite member in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Police Command, on Wednesday confirmed that hoodlums killed a Shiite member in Tudun Wada, in Sokoto North Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alkasim Sunusi, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Sokoto.
He said that the deceased was attacked on his way to a procession of the sect.
Sunusi said that the victim was “seriously beaten and killed, while his Toyota Avensis vehicle with registration number BRK 144 CM was burnt by the hoodlums.”
He said that some members of the sect also engaged members of the public in a violent confrontation at Tamaje area of Sokoto South Local Government.
Sunusi said that three motor cycles belonging to the sect members were burnt, while one person was arrested with cutlass.