Pandemonium ensued in Kaduna metropolis yesterday when members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, and the Police clashed during the group’s procession in commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in the state.
The Shiites, who came out in their hundreds, were marching and singing along major roads and highways when a combined team of armed policemen quickly emerged to stop the procession by shooting teargas and bullets in the air to disperse the procession.
The Police were able to restore peace and orderliness, as hoodlums almost took over the situation to cause pandemonium in the city.
The deputy spokesperson of the IMN Media Forum, Mallam Abdulmummunin Giwa, condemned the action of the Police in an interview, saying: “Today is the 12th of Rabiu Awwal, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and we are celebrating it as a Muslim community. We don’t know why the Police should be attacking us.
“Usually, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) is commemorated by Muslims all over the world, so members of the IMN, along with other Muslims, came out in procession in commemoration of the prophet’s birthday.
“As they were going, singing, the Police came with weapons, bullets and teargas and dispersed them. Later, there was reinforcement by the Police and they further dispersed the gathering.
“Usually, this event takes place annually. It is the birthday of the Prophet and we were commemorating it when the Police came to start shooting.
“This action of the police is sending dangerous notice to the entire people in the state that we are now in a Police state and not democracy. Probably the government is not only dealing with members of IMN alone, but also the entire Muslim community, who are also celebrating the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.
“They are in disguise, fighting Islam and Muslims, because this is the birthday of the Prophet. Why should they attack us?”
Giwa, who gave details of the procession by the Shiites said: “The procession started from Leventis Roundabout along Ahmadu Bello Way. We went down to Kano Road and Lagos Street and it was at this point that the Police came and started shooting. The attack lasted for a while until the Police overpowered everybody.
“For now, nothing can be said whether any of our members were arrested or sustained severe injuries. We will get to know this later. During the reinforcement, they came with thugs carrying sticks and other dangerous items and we saw then beating many people.
“But we can’t say whether those people are members of IMN or innocent people walking on the street.”
He explained further that the IMN has already dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crime and genocide they committed against its members.
When contacted on the phone after several attempts, the state Police Command spokesman, Aliyu Usman, declined comment.