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Shiites protest continuous detention of leader as president Buhari prays at national mosque


President Muhammadu Buhari (middle); Kaduna State Governor Nasir  El-Rufai (third left); FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Bello; Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed; Estu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahaman Danbazau and Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila during the Special  Presidential Inauguration Jumaat Prayer at the National Mosque, Abuja… yesterday Photo Philip Ojisua

There was mild panic yesterday at the National mosque, Abuja where President Buhari observed his Juma’at prayers as part of activities lined up for his inauguration ceremony.

The Juma’at prayers started around 2pm and ended almost 10 minutes later. The crowd of worshippers were thrown into confusion when a group of worshippers, suspected to belong to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites stood up and started chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) when the Murshid (administrator of the mosque) Shehu Ahmad Galadanci was making special prayers for the president. The chants became louder as security operatives struggled to control the crowd and return normalcy.

Observers said it could be a form of protest by the Shiite sect against the continuous detention of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky by the federal government. Galadanci prayed for good health for the president to complete his second term. He expressed satisfaction on the fight against corruption and insecurity, urging Nigerians to support the president for a more robust economy and peaceful nation.

Present at the mosque were Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar, traditional rulers, ministers, lawmakers and security chiefs.


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