Parts of the Federal Capital City of Abuja, again, Tuesday witnessed protests as the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, took to streets in the Wuse 2 District of Abuja to continue the protest march for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzakky and his wife, Zinat.
A similar protest on Monday turned violent, leading to the death of deputy commissioner of Police, Usman Umar; a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member and reporter, Precious Owolabi, 11 Shi’ite members, and an unspecified number of injured persons.
The Police said the Monday protesters were heavily armed, but the Shiites insisted they carry no arms during rallies.
Residents and workers avoided the Banex Plaza axis of the city on Tuesday as the protesters marched the streets and footage of them hit the social media.
Meantime, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has strongly condemned the habitual resort to violence by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria under the guise of the exercise of their rights to freedom of association and expression.
He also deplores the excessive use of force by the security agents on the protesters.
He calls on the security agencies to evolve a new approach for peaceful enforcement of law and order, even in the face of provocations.
In a statement by his spokesman, Lawan urged the Federal Government to find a speedy resolution to the agitation by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, within the context of the rule of law and national peace and security. All lawful options, he said, need to be considered towards avoiding carnage from needless confrontations of citizens with the security forces.
He expressed profound sadness over what he termed Monday’s “avoidable loss of lives in the violent clash of members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria with security agents deployed to maintain law and order in Abuja”.
Senator Lawan extended his condolences to the management of Channels Television on the tragic death of Owolabi, in the incident.
He said it is tragic that a brilliant life and professional prospect was abruptly cut short in a manner that diminishes us as citizens of a democratic nation.
Lawan extends his condolences to the family of Mr Owolabi, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the painful loss of their son, member and colleague.
He also sends his condolences to the family of Usman Umar and the Nigeria Police over the death of their son and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) during the incident.
Lawan sympathises with the families of other victims of the tragic incident.