The Nigerian Police on Friday dispersed a procession of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shi’ites members in Abuja.
Recall that Shi’ites had raised an alarm that the Nigerian Police had concluded plans to kill its members during their planned religious procession.
During the procession, the police reportedly fired tear gas canisters and gunshots in the air, forcing the processing Shi’ites and other passers-by to disperse.
The Shi’itesplanned to hold a procession on Saturday, in commemoration of their annual Arbaeen trek, sparking fears of another confrontation with security operatives
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by Abdullahi Musa on behalf of the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement, it noted that they had to shift the procession back to Friday following an intelligence-gathering that the Police had planned to attack them.
“This year Arabaeen symbolic trek here in Abuja had been scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, 19 October 2019.
However, another evil plan, of which we were reliably informed, has made it a near impossibility, for the safety of the populace and public properties.
“We discovered that the Police and other security agents have schemed to cause mayhem and violence to enable them to put the blame on Sheikh Zakzaky’s followers so as to accuse them of being responsible for it, like they did on the 22nd July 2019 at Federal Secretariat, where they killed a senior Police officer and a journalist.
“Having observed that in the weekend some journalists may not be available to monitor and cover the happenings, an alternative was sought. Public safety together with properties is really prime, and we decided against tomorrow for today Friday, 18 October 2019. In spite of the rescheduling, police attacked the peacefully solemn match, tear-gassing, arresting and molesting the trekkers”, the statement noted.
Furthermore, the statement recalled how members of IMN ( Shi’ites) were killed in dozens last year during the Arabaeen trek.
“The general public could recall the grave atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015 where more than a thousand Shi’ites were killed. Ever since then, the Sheikh, his wife and numerous others are under illegal detention.
“In like manner, last year the army killed more than 50 trekkers in Abuja during Arbaeen trek. We condemned all forms of tyranny and urged the public to unite and challenge oppression, the way Imam Hussain did during Yazid, as tyranny and humanity are mutually exclusive.
“While mourning the Arbaeen of Imam Hussain (AS), we demand the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife”, the statement added.