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Shiites: Group condemns violent activities, calls for caution

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Shiites and the Nigeria police clashed on Monday in Abuja; the third time in a month

Green Nigeria Project (GNP) a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), has condemned the violent activities of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over detention of their leader, Sheik El-Zakzaky.

The National Security Director of the group, Mr Usman Tanze, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, described Monday’s violent protest in Abuja as “ugly’’.

He called on the sponsors of the protesters to have a rethink in the interest of the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the recurring protests by IMN faithful over the continued incarceration of their leader had recorded violence and loss of lives and property in the FCT.

In the Monday incident, the Shiites who took over some areas in Abuja in their protest, clashed with police personnel who tried to check them. In the process, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a Channels Television Reporter were killed.

Two other police officers who sustained gunshot injuries are still in critical conditions at the hospital. There were unconfirmed fatalities on the side of the protesters.

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Tanze said that the violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Station within the Federal Secretariat and some vehicles.

He recalled that the arrest and detention of El-Zakzaky was necessitated by the same act of attacking and killing of security operatives on duty.

He said that their actions provoked the Federal Government into insisting that factual justice could not allow the mastermind and arrowhead of the acts to enjoy freedom with his family.

“Police and all other security agencies are tools earmarked for the President in safeguarding lives and properties, hence, when security operatives are attacked violently and killed, it is an affront and threat to the office of the President.

“No good leader will sit and fold hands when his workforces are being massacred without restraint, and without any iota of remorse.’’

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Tanze stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was merely preventing further ugly incidents, under national security, knowing that the culprits could leverage the law for reprieve and continue that violent disturbances in the country.

He added that the legal justice system in Nigeria required urgent review.

The director of the group explained that the review was necessary to check the “tactical endless adjournments’’ in prosecutions, making it difficult for victims to get justice, “while the accused simply secured bails and moved around freely’’.

According to him, some criminal matters have lingered in the courts for over a decade.


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