The Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Police Command has announced the arrest of 40 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, after a violent protest today, July 9, at the National Assembly during which they allegedly shot a police officer and others.
This is even as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has ordered surveillance by his officers around the Federal Capital, against the backdrop of the protest, which Shiite carried out over the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzakky.
A statement by the FCT Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, narrated that Shiite members started the protest, which was camouflaged in a peaceful procession, but that it became violent during which time they tried to force their way into the National Assembly. “Police operatives on the ground, however, acted proactively, professionally and used minimum force to disperse the unruly protesters.
“Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel on the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on six other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention.”
The statement said that investigation is now in progress, even as the 40 members who have been arrested will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land.
The FCT Command said that while it recognizes and respects the right of citizens to peaceful procession, but that attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause the breakdown of law and order will not be tolerated.
“Members of the public are enjoined to go on with their lawful activities as normalcy has been restored, and adequate security measures have been emplaced by the Command to forestall any security breach.”
Also in a statement, the Force Public Relations, Frank Mba, confirmed that the violent protest by members of the El-Zakzakky Group, which led to the unprovoked assault on and injury to Police personnel on lawful duty as well as willful damage to public properties.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM,mni has ordered a 24 hour Police surveillance in the FCT and its environs. Similarly, the Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police in States contiguous to the FCT were also placed on the alert to ensure maximum security in their respective Areas of responsibility (AOR) to avert any possible breach of public safety and security.”
The statement stressed that the Force is not against Citizens expressing their grouse against the State, but that such ventilations must be done through legitimate and acceptable processes and not by taking the laws into their own hands.
The IGP, in the statement, “warned that citizens should not test the collective will of the People and the State by engaging in lawless acts likely to cause the breach of the peace.
“Meanwhile, the IGP has ordered a speedy and diligent investigation into the incident as well as prompt prosecution of all the persons arrested and now in Police custody in connection with the incident.”