Noah Ebije, Kaduna
There was panic in Kaduna as members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites clashed with police over international Quds Day celebration.
The Shiites were said to have come out in their large numbers and occupied Kano road/ Ahmadu Bello Way for the annual international Quds Day procession. But police were said to have fired into the air as well as throwing tear gas canisters to disperse them.
This, according to eyewitness account, resulted in many traders in the areas hurriedly closing their shops, running for cover.
Our correspondent who visited the area noted that other people in the surrounding buildings watched the scenario from their balconies, just as motorists rammed into one another, trying to make detour from the troubled spots.
Three members of the Shiites were said to have been wounded by the police; they were and rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.
The spokesman of Kaduna police command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, did not take his call to confirm the incident about the time this report was filed.
It would be recalled that Kaduna State government had before now, banned all forms of procession along major roads in the state.
Meanwhile, spokesman of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement noted that “a large contingent of the police in battle gear had been threateningly patrolling the streets of Kaduna even before the commencement of the march.
“Hardly had the peaceful march started than armed policemen opened fire without warning, throwing tear gas canisters indiscriminately. This led to pandemonium on the busy streets in the central area.
“They were seen thereafter mounting road blocks and emergency checkpoints and diverting traffic away from the central area.
“This year’s Quds procession has been marked everywhere in the country peacefully except in Kaduna.”
It was not clear how many people were injured or arrested but the incident led to severe gridlock.