Shi’ites: We lost five members in clash with Governor’s convoy
• IMN has been proscribed— Police
Leaders of the Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, have claimed that, five of their members were killed and several others injured when they clashed with Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s convoy on Thursday.
One of the IMN leaders, Sheikh Aliyu Umar, who briefed journalists on the development in Rigasa, Igabi Local Council, yesterday, said the IMN would drag the state government to court over killings of its members.
He said the incident happened when members of the IMN were on a peaceful protest to press home their demand for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky’s International Passport and be allowed to travel abroad for medical care.
Umar said: “On Thursday, we came out for our usual protest, because our leader (Sheikh Zakzaky) has since been released, but the government refused to give him his passport to allow him travel abroad for medical check-up. Therefore, we came out to remind the world that our leader was still denied his rights.
“So, yesterday, when we came out from Gwamna Road, precisely at Bakin Ruwa, we met with the governor’s convoy, and the security men in the convoy just opened fire on us, right in the presence of the governor. Instantly, five persons were killed and others were severely wounded.
“We heard they claimed we blocked the road and prevented the governor’s convoy from passing. That is not true. We did not block the road. Everyone knows that we are very organised and our people always clear the road. So, we could not have blocked the governor’s convoy.
“Now, after burying our dead, we are going to pray. Then, we will take legal action against the state government,” the Shi’ite leader said.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Kaduna State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Jalige said, ‘the command was preparing a statement in reaction to the Shi’ites’ claims.”
DSP Jalige was, however, quick to say that, the “IMN has been proscribed. They have no right, whatsoever, to carry out any form of protest. So, even you the press should not have attended their conference, because they have been proscribed.”
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.