Shiites barricade Kaduna roads •Demand release of their leader

MEMBERS of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)  otherwise known as Shiites have started what they call  ‘Occupy Kaduna’  by blocking major highways  in Kaduna metropolis.

Findings by the Saturday Tribune showed that the members of the Movement besieged the popular Leventis that links the town and other parts of the metropolis on Friday demanding the unconditional release of their spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

It was learnt that members from all the 23 local government was mobilised to the metropolis to ‘Occupy Kaduna’ as part of strategy to demand for the release of their leader.

The time of filing this report, members of the Movement, it was gathered, observed Friday’s congregational prayer at the roundabout thereby creating traffic gridlock and bringing business activities to a halt.

Commuters who had earlier boarded buses and some who were riding tricycle, otherwise known as ‘Keke Napep’ to Kawo, Abakpa, Unguwar Sarki, Unguwar shanu, Unguwar Timi among others had to disembark and trekked to their destinations.

A spokesperson for the sect, Abdullahi Giwa, remarked shortly after the Juma’a prayers that the ‘Occupy Kaduna’ campaign will last for the  next 24 hours.

‘We are going to be peaceful in our conduct and we don’t intend to be violent because we are a peaceful people.  However, we want the authorities to release our leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, with immediate effect as his health, we learnt, is deteriorating.”

Meanwhile, police and other security agencies later deployed their officers and men to the scene in order to keep watch of happenings.

Speaking in an interview, the police Image maker, ASP Aliyu Usman said the police are ready to ensure that the lives and property of the people are adequately protected.

In the same vein, Acting Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kaduna Command, DCC Ilelaboye Waidi, has equally maintained the readiness of the command to maintain peace by providing tight security now and during the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebration.