The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (aka Shiites) says that 15 of its members were killed by the police across the country yesterday.
Naija Buzz News had reported that the Shiites were observing the Ashura procession on Tuesday across the country (especially in the north where most of them resides).
According to the proscribed Shiites, it members were killed in Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto and Katsina States.
We had reported how the group claimed that 3 of their members were killed in the Bakin Ruwa area of Kaduna State. But the police in Kaduna however vehemently denied the report, saying the group is known for lying to attract sympathizers.
The Shiites spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement said two persons were killed in Illela, and Goronyo areas of Sokoto State. One other person was also killed in Malumfashi area of Katsina. “At least, three people were confirmed killed by the police in Kaduna and 10 others injured, some fatally, when thousands of Muslim brothers and sisters trooped out in the early hours of Tuesday commemorating the tragic events of Ashura.
“In Bauchi, three persons were killed during the Ashura procession when the police attacked the mourners. Likewise, three others were killed by the police in Azare, also in Bauchi State. Another three persons were killed by the police in Gombe, Gombe State.”
Musa said that many others also sustained bullet wounds, alleging that the police went after its members and shot at mourners even after the procession.
He further noted that; “the mourning procession ended peacefully in places not attacked by the police is sufficient evidence as to who the instigators of violence are whenever we are carrying out our legitimate religious duties.”
We reported that the procession in Abuja yesterday was peaceful. The Shiites walk for about 25minuties and quickly ended the event to avoid police confrontation. The peaceful procession was also witnessed in Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum.
The Nigeria Police had ahead of the procession yesterday warned that the Shiite group had been proscribed and must not engage in any procession. The police had noted that any gathering of the Shiites in Nigeria would be treated as terrorism.
“Following the deluge of enquiries concerning the ban on procession on the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), it has become absolutely imperative to clarify that the ban on processions is applicable to members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria only,” DCP Frank Mba, Nigeria Police spokesman had stated on Tuesday.
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.