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El-Zakzaky Here’s why Police and Shiite protesters clashed in Abuja

A Shiite member was allegedly killed by the Police amidst teargas and stray bullets.

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Police and Shiites clash in Maitama, Abuja play

Police and Shiites clash in Maitama, Abuja

(Twitter)

Men of the Nigeria Police clashed with some protesters believed to be members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (otherwise known as Shiites) who were demanding the unconditional release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in custody since the clash between Shiite and men of the Nigerian Army in Zaria in 2015.

Over three hundred Shiites were reportedly killed during the incident.

‘Like Buhari, El-zakzaky deserves oversea medical treatment,’ says Shiites play Police and Shiites clash in Abuja (Pulse)

 

Since the arrest and detention of their leader, Shiites have held protests in demand for the release of El-Zakzaky across states in Nigeria.

The demand, however, took a drastic turn this year following El-Zakzaky’s continuous detention despite court judgements for his release from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Watch as Shiites clash with armed policemen in Nigeria's capital play Police and Shiites clash in Abuja

 

In January 2018, convener of Concerned Nigerians pro-democracy group, Deji Adeyanju began a daily sit-out with Shiites to demand the release of their leader at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.

ALSO READ: How Police, El-Zakzaky supporters fought at National Assembly [PHOTOS]

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Shiite members embarked on a mass protest to the entrance Villa to press home their demands alongside human rights lawyer, Femi Falana.

Police and Shiites clash at Maitama, Abuja play

Police and Shiites clash at Maitama, Abuja

(Twitter)

 

Falana while condemning Federal Government’s failure to release the IMN leader urged the protesters not to rest on their oars in demanding for El-Zakzaky’s freedom.

"When we were fighting for the restoration of democratic rule under brutal military dictators, I never thought that court orders were going to be treated with disdain by elected governments,"Falana said.

"It is particularly painful for me that court orders are disobeyed under the current political dispensation, whereas under the Buhari/Idiagbon military junta, court orders for the release of victims of the obnoxious Decree No 2 of 1984 were complied with.

"I urge you and other lovers of democracy not to allow the Buhari administration disobey the judgments of competent courts. Please continue protesting until impunity stops," the senior lawyer admonished.

 

At the 86th day sit-out on Friday, April 13, 2018, men of the FCT Police Command stormed the Unity Fountain to stop their daily activity at the venue.

As the protesters insisted on sitting at the Fountain, the Police released teargas at the venue dispersing them and arrested Adeyanju "for inciting civil unrest".

Adeyanju was however released after four hours in Police custody. However, the Police announced a ban on gatherings and protests at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.

Safe to mention that Unity Fountain had also served as venue for the daily sit-out of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy group since the abduction the Chibok schoolgirls four years ago.

Bring Back Our Girls group marches to Aso Rock on August 22, 2016 play

Oby leads the Bring Back Our Girls group to Aso Rock on August 22, 2016

(Pulse )

 

The BBOG had condemned the ban on meetings at the Fountain, a move which has affected their daily sit-out for a few days.

Despite the ban on meetings at the Unity Fountain, Shiite members converged in the numbers at the venue on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Regardless of the warnings by the Police, the group insisted on having their sit-out at the venue, which is opposite Transcorp hotel.

The result, teargas canisters and hot water cannons were released at the protesters as residents ran for their lives.

Resistant Shiite members also attacked police officers with sticks and stones

A Shiite member was reportedly killed from a stray bullet fired during the incident.

“He was shot dead while trying to gain access to the Unity Fountain alongside members of the sect,” the witness said.

Police cracks down on Shiites protester demanding El-Zakzaky's release play

Protesters attacked by police in Abuja

(Twitter/@GbemiDennis)

Offices around the Venue in the highbrow Maitama district were also not left out as cars of workers parked outside their work places were vandalized with bullet holes on windows and walls.

Spokesman of the FCT Police Command, Anjuguri Manzah said he had no information on the attack as at press time.

An eyewitness told Pulse that the Shiites vowed to continue with their protests until their leader is released.

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