One person was said to have been shot dead and others injured following a clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and personnel of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), police command.
The protesters comprising mostly young
Men and women had converged for the second day in Abuja to demand the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015, after a clash with the convoy of the former Chief aid Army Staff(COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
It was gathered that the protest, which started near the head office of the National Human Rights Commission on Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama degenerated after the police stormed the area, and fired shots and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.
But the protesters were said to have pelted stones and other dangerous weapons at the police men for daring to stop from them from carrying out their protest.
In the confusion that ensued, the police was said to have opened fire at the protesters killing one person while others sustained serious injuries. Motorists, road users and and business operators in the area who were caught up in the melee, scampered for safety to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
The Secretary in charge of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Musa, who confirmed the clash to newsmen, claimed some of the critically injured victims were evacuated in police patrol vans to the SWAT headquarters.
He also said the protesters faced a similar attack on Monday, during a peaceful protest through the Federal Secretariat, where two of their members were seriously injured.
According to him, “Today (Tuesday), police waylaid protesters at the crossroads of Transcorp Hilton, with the match from the National Human Rights Commission. They shot many tear-gas canisters indiscriminately, dousing their victims with the gas, before bullets started flying all around and one protester has been confirmed dead.
He said “The security operatives seriously maimed numerous protesters; critical gunshot injuries needing urgent treatment were glaring.
“Unfortunately, these victims were taken to, and dumped at the SWAT headquarters. They should be released to access treatment.
“What was the protesters’ offence? Their one and only offence, if there is at all, is that in the face of all sorts of tyranny as well as against all odds, they have continued to demand the release of the most oppressed individual in the history of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky.
“He was beset with bullets in a deliberate attempt at his life, his wife survived the same vicious crackdown, and his six sons were killed before his eyes. Thus, if this daily protest is deemed as a slap on the tyranny and persecution wrist, let our leader be released immediately and unconditionally, just before a slap in the face.”