By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
Three members of Shi’ite sustained injuries on Tuesday when men of the Nigeria police allegedly fired gunshots and tear gas canisters to disperse a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) around Berger area of Wuse in Abuja.
According to an eyewitness, commuters and other members of the public took to their heels when the incident started at about 3:30pm.
Reports have it that the victims were shot in the leg.
The Shi’tes are demanding the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat detained by government in a correctional facility in Kaduna State.
A member of the IMN ,Ibrahim Yahaya, who also spoke with our correspondent confirmed the casualty:
“As I am speaking to you three of our members were shot in the leg by the police. Our quest will continue”.
The procession ended abruptly as the Shi’ites, commuters and commercial motorists scampered for safety.
Yahaya said the injured Shi’ite members were quickly taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment, adding that the “incident was like a movie show.”
The IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed the development, noting that he received reports that three sect members were shot by policemen “while on a peaceful protest at Berger.”
He condemned the attack, insisting that the IMN members had the right to engage in peaceful protest.
He also raised an alarm over El-Zakzaky’s health, saying that government is not attending to his medial welfare in Kaduna correctional facility.
The Shi’ites had clashed with security forces several times resulting in the arrest and prosecution of many IMN members.
A violent clash led to the death of a senior police officer, DCP Usman Umar and a youth corps member, Precious Owolabi, at the Central Business District on July 22, 2019.
The IMN spokesman vowed that the Shi’ites will not relent until their leader regains freedom.