Three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites have been reportedly killed by the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in Kaduna State.
It was gathered that the Shi’ite members were preparing to come out for their Ashura Day Procession when the police attacked them along the Western Bypass on the outskirt of Kaduna metropolis.
The President Media Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, claimed that three of their members were killed in Kaduna.
Though he did not elaborate further, claiming that he was on the road, he sent a text message, which read, “Yes three killed in Kaduna.”
However, the Kaduna State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, described the claim as “a blatant lies.”
He noted that the IMN was used to making such frivolous claims in the past, noting that that “has been their tradition.”
The spokesman told our correspondent on the telephone that the command got wind of their planned procession. He said police went and dispersed them successfully.
According to the police chief, there was no report of casualties.
The spokesman warned that the group was proscribed and thus, not allowed to observe any procession.
Sabo said, “Its a blatant lie. The police didn’t kill anybody. Police only dispersed some hoodlums that were sighted along Bakin Ruwa staging a protest.
“If you remember, we came out with a warning yesterday (Monday) that the IMN has been proscribed both by the Federal and the Kaduna State Governments.
“So, when we received information that they are going to stage a protest today, we warned them not to come out because police will not allow anybody under any guise to stage any protest.
“But some of them refused to heed to the warning. We received information this morning that some of them were sighted along Bakin Ruwa and our men went and dispersed them successfully.
“There was no report of any casualties. And that was what they have been looking for; to come out and when police dispersed them, they will be making frivolous claims. It has been their tradition.”
Meanwhile, tension has enveloped the Kaduna state capital over the Ashura Day Processions by the IMN and their imminent clash with the force.
Early on Tuesday, the police placed its men and operational vehicles at strategic locations along the ever-busy Ahmadu Bello Way, the commercial hub of the state.
Our correspondent who went round around 9:50 a.m. observed that a police truck was stationed at the Katsina road roundabout.
Also, at the Leventis Roundabout, four operational vehicles of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force, SARS and the state security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Yaki’ were stationed there.
Though there was free flow of traffic, there were few commercial vehicles and other motorists on the road while commercial activities were at its lowest ebb as few shops were partially open for business.
Shop owners were seen in front of their shops.