Police's silence on arrest of more Shiites fuels outrage

Police's silence on arrest of more Shiites fuels outrage

- Members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have continued protest against the police for arresting their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

- Members of the IMN gathered at the Wuse Ultra-Modern Market on Tuesday, April 17, and continued the action

- In all of this, the police have refused making any comment neither have they responded to calls from newsmen on the issue

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have maintained silence on the number of Shiite members arrested following an initial confirmation of the arrest of 115 members of the group in Abuja on Monday, April 16.

Premium Times reported that some members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) started a protest, demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who was nabbed just after a clash between Shiite members and the Nigerian Army in December, 2015.

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With their vow to their protest till the federal government releases El-Zakzaky, the Shiites converged at the Wuse Ultra-Modern Market on Tuesday, April 17, and continued the action near the National Universities Commission, Maitama on Wednesday, April 18. In reaction to this, members of the police force arrived the scene almost immediately on horses, armoured tanks and other vehicles.

Police personnel immediately formed a barricade, preventing the IMN members from proceeding and almost succeeded in dispersing them, within five to ten minutes.

However, an unnamed witness reported to newsmen that after the police attempted to leave the scene, the IMN members regrouped and started chanting: “Free Zakzaky”. They were soon dispersed by the police officers who returned with their guns ready to shoot.

Abdullahi Musa, a spokesperson for the IMN, said: ”Three truck load of Shiite members were taken during Tuesday’s protest, while another car, loaded with arrested IMN members was driven away from the protest scene on Wednesday, by police officers.”

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In spite of continued clash between the police personnel and members of the IMN, Tuesday and Wednesday in Abuja, spokesperson for the police declined making more comment on the development.

Manzah Anjuguri, the police spokesperson in the area refused responding to calls from newsmen on the issue. This was after Anjuguri claimed ignorance of the development on both days.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that there was panic among Abuja residents as police officers clashed again with suspected Shiites on Tuesday, April 17.

NAIJ.com gathered that residents said police vehicles chased the protesters who threw stones and other objects at them.

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Source: Naija.ng

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