As the dust settles over the face-off between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites) and the Police, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered a 24 hours Police surveillance in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs.
“Similarly, the Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police in States contiguous to the FCT were also placed on the alert to ensure maximum security in their respective Areas of responsibility (AOR) to avert any possible breach of public safety and security,” Police spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba.
Recall that the violence which forced the House of Representatives to postpone sitting until next week, created panic as the lawmakers and visitors were shut in as the face-off raged at the second gate, after the members breached security at the first gate and surged forward.
The demonstrators have been vociferous in the call for the release of their leader, Mr. El Zakzakky, and his wife. Both have been in detention for over four years, though there have been several court orders for their release. The Federal Government has refused to obey the orders, a situation that has often led to clashes between members of the Islamic sect and security agencies.
Over time, the group has become more brazen and violent, as residents of the Federal Capital City dread their foray into the city centre. The social media is always in a frenzy whenever members are seen gathering anywhere.
Earlier, the spokesman for the FCT Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anjuguri Manzah disclosed that forty (40) members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest, which led to the shooting of two policemen and injury to six others.
He said investigation into the violence is in progress.
According to him the Police Command foiled a violent move by Shiites to forcefully invade the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He added: “The group which started its activity, camouflaged in a peaceful procession became violent and were trying to force their way into the National Assembly. Police operatives on the ground, however, acted proactively, professionally and used minimum force to disperse the unruly protesters.
“Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel on the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on six other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention.
“In view of the foregoing, the Command wishes to state unequivocally that while it recognizes and respects the right of citizens to peaceful procession, an attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause the breakdown of law and order will not be tolerated. Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land.
“Members of the public are enjoined to go on with their lawful activities as normalcy has been restored, and adequate security measures have been emplaced by the Command to forestall any security breach.”