El-Zakzaky: Shiite protesters clash again with police, soldiers

By AdvocateNews on 24/07/2019

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…don’t test my patience – Buhari warns Shiites

Nigerian troops and police clashed on Tuesday with unrelenting Shi’ite Muslim protesters as the group began another march in the capital Abuja despite Monday’s fatalities.

According to witnesses, the air was thick with teargas as soldiers and police officers made arrests after the Shi’ite group.

Gunshots were also heard in the capital.

The Shiites marched in protest against the continued detention of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat.

Both have been in detention since December 2015, following a fracas between El-Zakzaky followers and the army in Zaria.

The Shi’ites,  on Monday, began  their protest   to press home their demand.

Police launched tear gas canisters  and fired  gunshots  to disperse members of the IMN who filled the streets  of Abuja,

The FCT Police Command said it had arrested 12 Shi’ites who were on the rampage in the Banex area of Abuja on Tuesday.

Spokesman for the command,  Anjuguri Manzah, said in a statement they  acted professionally by using minimum force to restore calm  to  the  FCT.

He said, “The police moved swiftly to the scene and arrested 12 members of the sect. The suspects were arrested while attacking innocent people, blocking roads and disrupting activities in the Banex area.”

Tuesday’s protest by the sect again  halted  economic activities in the capital as many residents  scampered to safety to avoid being caught in the crossfire between  security forces  and the protesters.

The protest had turned violent on Monday leading to the death of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the Federal Capital Territory, Usman Musa, and Precious Owolabi who was reporting for Channels TV.

Two  Shi’ites were allegedly killed while two Assistant  Superintendent of Police and others  got injured.

However, the IMN claimed  11 of their members  were killed by security forces with 30 injured.

But, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who said they arrested 54 protesters, claimed  the  Shi’ites shot dead Umar.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari  on Tuesday warned that  the protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ites, were testing the patience of the Federal Government with their violent protests  in Abuja.

He said the FG  might be forced to act with maximum force to defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians.

Reacting to  the killing of  Deputy Commissioner of Police  Usman Umar and  National Youth Service Corps member, Precious Owolabi, during Monday’s protest by the sect, Buhari   called on any group carrying out violent protests to stop now, else the government would take decisive actions against them.

“Let nobody or group doubt or test our will to act in the higher interest of  the majority of our citizens,” a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying on Tuesday.

The President  said he was deeply touched by the death of Umar and Owolabi as he condoled with their families and the management of Channels TV, where the corps member was attached to.

He described the two as “law-abiding, hard-working and vibrant Nigerians with a promising future.”

Posted 24/07/2019 07:13:11 AM


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