The members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, on Thursday, again took to streets of Abuja to protest the ‘unlawful detention’ of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in military detention for more than two years.
The procession has caused heavy traffic gridlock in the capital city, causing motorists to seek alternative route to escape the impasse.
Comprising of minors, women and adults of various age groups, the protesting members were chanting ‘justice,’ ‘We can die for our leader’, among others as they moved in thousands on the streets.
Recall that on Wednesday, January 10, 52 members were arrested by the police following a violent protest in demand of the release from continued detention of their leader.
A statement by spokesman for the FCT command, Anjuguri Manzah, said: “The FCT Police Command has arrested some members of the sect and recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult used by members of the sect to attack police operatives and damage police operational vehicles.
“It is pertinent to state that the unlawful action of members of the sect which started on Monday 8th January, 2018 is constituting a serious security threat to the peace of the Federal Capital Territory and at the same time disrupting innocent citizens from going about their lawful businesses.
“In view of the current security situation in the Country, the Command wishes to unequivocally state that while it will continue to be professional in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory roles of the protection of lives and property of the good people of FCT; and equally recognise the rights of citizens to express their lawful grievances, the Command will not fold its arms and watch some persons hold the capital city to ransom by disrupting government and legitimate business activities.
“In view of the foregoing, the Command wants to state that any person or group of persons arrested for violating the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution while registering their protest will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the appropriate section(s) of the law.
“Meanwhile, the fifty-two (52) members of the El-Zakzaky group arrested by police operatives during today 10th January, 2018 violent protest that left some policemen with injury will be charged to court upon the conclusion of the investigation,” Mr Manzah, a deputy superintendent of police, said.