Again, security operatives disperse IMN protesters in Abuja
Shiites flay police for branding members as Islamic militias
A combined team of the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), yesterday, dispersed members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), who were protesting against Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife’s continued detention.
The protesters had converged on the Aguiyi-Ironsi Way, Maitama, Abuja where a procession of the group was ongoing, demanding the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife, who have been in government’s custody for over a year in spite of their ill health.
Describing the continued protests of the group as dangerous, the Federal Government had earlier outlawed the group with proscription laws labeling it as a terrorist organisation.
An eyewitness, Odia Ebele, told The Guardian yesterday that the group regrouped on the Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama at 11:30a.m.
“We saw them regrouping this morning along the Aguiyi-Ironsi Way, carrying placards with inscriptions as: Free Our Leader, El-Zakzaky And His Wife, Insensitive Government and American Agents, among others.
He said the group, comprising men, women and children, formed a long queue along the Maitama Way, but did not molest passers-bye and commuters, adding however, that security officers surrounded the entire area and dispersed the crowd within 40 minuets.
MEANWHILE, the IMN condemned the Nigerian Police for branding its members as Shiites militias. Its officials accused the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri for describing the Islamic group as Shiites Militias, saying that description was mischievous.
In a statement issued by the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, the group said: “It is a mischievous and deliberate attempt to blackmail the IMN, but in spite of the false accusation by the Kaduna State government, they have failed to prove before the state High Court that members of the movement had committed any crime or breached the peace.
“Muri should be educated to set the records straight that the IMN under the leadership of El-Zakzaky is a religious movement aiming to establish divine guidance and salvage the souls of people and not to kill them.
“The movement uses knowledge and logic and does not need or use arms in achieving its goals. So, describing its members as militias is a deliberate mischief.”