By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
While condemning what it described as violent protests by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in parts of Kaduna State, the police has said that no death was recorded, but confirmed arrests of four suspects.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo Abubakar in a statement signed on behalf of the Commissioner Of Police, said that the situation has been brought under control and protesters dispersed.
“The Command also wants to put it on record that, up till now it has not formally received any report of death casualties as claimed by the proscribed group earlier today,” it said.
It straightened the records that, “Today at about 0655hrs, we received an information that members of the outlawed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites came out enmass along Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway Kaduna and at Kasuwan Mata area of Zaria city respectively on procession in respect of the annual Ashura Day, blocking the public highways, causing traffic jam and molesting commuters.
“They were chanting slogans and demanding for the unconditional release of their spiritual leader sheikh Ibrahim Elzak-Zaky despite earlier warning by the Command yesterday,” it stated.
The Police said that it is on record that both the federal government of Nigeria and the government of Kaduna State have separately proscribed the the group recently.
“Thus, teams of Policemen quickly dispatched to the areas with a view to dispersing the unlawful assembly and to manage the traffic.
“, on sighting the Police, the protesters started throwing stones at them, hitting them with iron bolts using catapults. The situation became very tensed and members became violent and unruly.
“In view of these therefore, minimum force was used in dispersing them. Four suspects were so far arrested and are being investigated. We have also recovered some exhibits which include catapults and iron bolts.
“The Police succeeded in dispersing the unlawful assembly and brought the situation under firm control. Meanwhile, patrols are being intensified to avert any possible breach of peace.
“Members of the public are going about their lawful businesses without hindrance,” it assured.
The Command therefore, reiterated its warning that, the Kaduna State government has placed ban on processions in the state and to remind members of the IMN that the proscription placed on the group by the federal government of Nigeria and the government of Kaduna State are still in force.
“The Nigeria Police will always enforce the lawful Order accordingly,” it warned.
The statement however, advised members of the public to go about their lawful businesses and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police or any law enforcement agency nearest to them.