A Shiite protest in Abuja on Monday morning turned violent as no fewer than seven people, including a police officer, were feared killed and several injured when the protesters clashed with security officers.
The slain police officer, Umar Usman, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the FCT was reportedly gunned down by the Shiites as he made attempt to prevent their violent activities at the axis of the Federal Secretariat in Abuja. In an effort to subdue reprisal attacks from the IMN members who were protesting the arrest of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and some of their colleagues, the police have beefed up security throughout the FCT.
Meanwhile, six members of the sect were said to have been killed.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Monday accused members of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, of burning down two ambulances at the Agency’s Emergency Response and Ambulance Bays (ERABs) in Abuja.
Head of Media and Public Relations of NEMA, Sani Datti, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
“This is to confirm that ERABs of the NEMA located on Ahmadu Bello Way beside the federal secretariat was attacked today with two vehicles burnt down.
”The attack was carried out by members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria commonly known as Shiites.” he said.
Mr Datti explained that the affected vehicles were the Mobile Intensive Care Unit, which was a life support ambulance, and a multi-purpose Response Intervention Van.
According to him, the ERABs were situated at the location for timely response to emergencies and disasters to reduce the loss of lives and property.
He said the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, had while inspecting the damage, noted that the burnt equipment were very expensive and would cost taxpayers a lot of money to replace.
Worried by the violence, President Muhammadu Buhari summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Adamu Abubakar Mohammed, to Aso Rock over the latest bloody protest.
It was learnt that at the closed-door meeting, IGP Adamu briefed the President on the latest protest by the Shiite group in Abuja.
After the meeting, the IGP told journalists: “We came this morning to brief Mr President on the security situation in the country, especially the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), just to give him an update of what is happening in the country vis a vis their activities.
“Specifically we briefed him of the incessant act coming out of this group of people, protesting here and there.”
He said the President was also briefed on what he called ‘the fact’ that the police had been able to curtail the excesses of the protesters and that everything was under control.
“The President asked us to make sure we provide security for every citizen of this country and not to leave any space that some group of people will create breakdown of law and order.
“So, the charge by Mr President is that we must provide security for every Nigerian,” he added.