Shiites embark on “mourning procession” despite police disapproval
Members of the Shiites Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have defied police order by embarking on its Ashura mourning procession in Abuja in the morning of Tuesday, September 10.
The Ashura procession is an annual religious ritual carried out by the Shia Islamic sect all over the world on September 10.
Participants including men, women, and children held the procession for a few kilometres from Berger Roundabout to Wuse, and hurriedly concluded the exercise to avoid a confrontation with security personnel.
As early as 8am, Shiite members were already on the road for about 25 minutes and caused traffic gridlock in the commercial area, but there was no report of any incident.
The inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Monday, September 9, said that any procession by the proscribed group amounted to terrorism. A statement issued by force public relations officer, Frank Mba, said it has come to the knowledge of the Nigeria Police Force that some members of the proscribed IMN intended to embark on a nationwide procession, ostensibly to cause disruption of public peace, order and security in the country.
The protest in Kaduna was reportedly violent however, as IMN claimed three people were killed by the police, including a minor.
Yahaya Muhammed who is the coordinator of the group claimed said: ”In Abuja it (the procession) was peaceful because the police could not stop us. ”Three persons were killed in Kaduna, including a minor. In Gombe, there was shooting one person was confirmed dead. In Azare local government (area) in Bauchi one person was confirmed dead.”