Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria(IMN), has condemned Monday’s killing of Precious Owolabi a National Youth Service Corps members serving with Channels Television and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Musa, during a clash with the police in Abuja.
The IMN, has also commiserated with the families of Owolabi, Channels Television family, the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the police over the premature deaths.
The group in a statement absolved itself from the killing of Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi, saying their death “was a clear case of falling victim to a shooting spree embarked upon by the police”.
IMN, President of the Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, in the statement maintained that members of the movement do not carry weapons and could not have been responsible for the death of the senior police officer and the journalist.
Musa, in the statement, said “Yesterday the Nigeria police force headquarters issued a press statement in which it ascribed the death of DCP Usman A.K Umar in particular to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of the illegally detained Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. We vehemently condemn such insinuation which we believe was done in bad taste to once again tarnish our hard earned credit as the only non-violent Movement in the country.
“A quick analysis of images and video clips showed that the Free Zakzaky procession was peacefully progressing prior to the brutal crackdown. It also clearly showed that the protesters weren’t bearing arms as usual and traffic was moving smoothly without hindrance.
“Furthermore, the images also showed the police, armed to the teeth, were intent on stopping the movement of the protesters, at all cost. Few other policemen and plain cloth security agents were seen piling used tyres for use to set bonfires. By the time the police struck, about a dozen members of the Islamic Movement had been killed. The police were seen picking the corpses to an undisclosed location, perhaps for mass burial.
“Also shot were the Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi and their colleague, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, whom photographs showed was struck from the back of his head with the bullet exit in front, an indication that he was a victim of friendly fire. It is a known fact among the intelligence community that you don’t retreat from a mob with your back turned against them. “This is one of the tenets of crowd control for law enforcement agencies. As if to hide this fact, the late policeman was hurriedly buried without any form of postmortem examination, which would have revealed the source of the bullet.
“It seems the security agents strategically killed the Journalist to turn the media against us. They also killed the police officer to incite the security community against us and to stigmatize us. They are the ones with guns and they are the ones doing the shootings and also doing the killings, then fraudulently lie to Nigerians that their victims are the violent ones!
“They are working hard to portray the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terrorist organization that is why they have started killing people in our name including our supporters. We decry such shameless play with peoples lives with reckless abandon.
“We therefore call on the federal government detaining our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibrahim, preventing them from seeking proper medication, to toe the line of House of representatives that some weeks ago called on it to address the root cause of this needless spill of innocent blood, which is the contemptuous disregard of a federal high court order granting the Sheikh is freedom and fundamental human rights.
“Finally, on behalf of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, we wish to commiserate with the friends and families of those needlessly killed by this police brutality. In particular, our heartfelt condolences to the slain officer’s and the journalist’s families and the Channels Television as well”.