By Agaju Madugba
Tension enveloped parts of Katsina metropolis today as residents woke up to behold members of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement popularly called Shiites, gather along the IBB Way and the Central mosque areas, for the group’s annual Maulud Fatima procession to mark the birthday of the daughter of the ProphetMuhammed.
But hoards of armed security operatives dispersed them without any report major incidents.
According to eyewitness, security men got wind of the procession and, a detachment of security operatives, made up of soldiers, police and other security agencies, stormed the area to confiscate flags, handbills and banners from the group.
Reacting to the incident, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, warned that his administration will not fold its hands and allow lawlessness to overtake the area.
Speaking while signing the 2016 Appropriation Act into law at the Government House, Masari said that there was a ban on religious procession public places in the state.
According to him, “we will not trample on the religious rights of the people to worship because there is freedom of religion but religious processions are not allowed in public places.
“We do not want some people to take over public places and moreover, we are not ready to allow what happened in Kaduna to take place here. We will make sure that no individuals or groups hold the peace loving people of this state to ransom.”
However, the Katsina State leader of the Shiites group, Malam Yakubu Yahaya, decried the security action in stopping the procession.
“We are law-abiding and we have always had peaceful processions for several years,” Yahaya said in a statement, adding that “it is regrettable that somebody ordered that 10 truck load of security men should be unleashed on an innocent procession.
Last December 12, several members of the group were reportedly killed in Zaria, Kaduna State, during a confrontation with soldiers on the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff.