(By Molly Kilete – ABUJA)
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) took to the streets of Abuja to protest the detention of the their spiritual leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
This is the third time the protesters have carried out their protest in the federal capital teritory, despite warning by police authorities to desist from the act.
The shi’ite leader, who was arrested last year, has been in custody after his followers clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai in Zaria, where the army chief was billed to attend the passing out parade of soldiers at the Nigerian Army depot.
The protesters in their hundreds gathered as early as ten o’clock in the morning and marched through some streets of the city before arriving at their destination at the federal secretariat, where they came in contact with police.
They were prevented from heading to the National Assembly complex.
The police team responded to the protest by firing teargas into the crowd.
The police say they had to disperse the crowd because they did not have the required permit from the authorities to embark on the protest.
A member of the movement, who spoke briefly to some journalists at the scene, said protesters were in the city to demand the unconditional release of their leader, and that they would continue to protest until he is released.