Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria staged a protest in the Tudun Wada area of the Kaduna state capital on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 over the massacre of their members and the arrest of the sect’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, by the Nigerian Army.
Three people are feared dead as the Police swooped in on the peaceful protesters.
The witness said members of the group resisted the attempt to disperse them and some of them engaged the police in a shootout, leading to the death of three members of the sect with many others sustaining injuries.
A source at the Police Clinic said no fewer than five policemen were brought into the clinic injured and in critical condition.
Shortly after the incident, the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau(retd), led the Federal Government’s delegation to Kaduna State to access the situation on the ground, particularly in Zaria where the crisis started on Saturday.
Danbazau proceeded to Zaria after a closed-door meeting with the state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
He told journalists at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, that he was in the state to see the situation of things and decided to call on the governor first, who is the Chief security officer of the state.
The Minister said, “I came to Kaduna to see the situation of things and I decided to see the Chief Security officer of the state. I’m on my way to Zaria to see the situation of things.”
Meanwhile, the sect in a statement accused the Police Mobile Force of killing unarmed members of the sect, adding that many are currently receiving treatment of gunshots.
The statement signed by the President of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria’s Media Forum, said the police opened fire on sect members on a peaceful protest.
The statement read in part, “The mobile police unit (MOPOL) attacked a peaceful protest staged by the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Kaduna, killing three people on the spot, with many receiving gunshot injuries.
“As usual with such protest conducted by the Muslim brothers, it started peacefully from Layin kosai area of Tudun Wada Kaduna, however when it reached Tudun Nupawa near Enugu Road, MOPOL, in about five vehicles opened fire on the protesters.
“The main aim and slogans of the protesters was “Release Sheikh Zakzaky!” “Enough is Enough!”
“The protest was dispersed by the police by their continuous shootings. However about nine police vehicles moved to Tudun Wada where the Markaz (Islamic Cenre) of the Muslim brothers is situated and opened fire there.
“As if in continuation of what the army started in Zaria over the weekend. Report reaching us said many were killed or wounded there also. Similar protests were held in Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Gusau, and they all ended peacefully because no police were ordered to shoot the protesters.
“The question is who are those in authority that are bent on creating chaos in Kaduna through such brutal attacks on ordinary unarmed people?”
Meanwhile following the development, commercial banks and other financial institutions in the state as well as traders at the Sheihk Abubakar Gumi Central Market closed their shops for fear of the unknown.