Shi’ites ignore police threats, hold Ashura procession in Abuja

By Shola Abayomi.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has observed its Ashura mourning procession in Abuja, despite threats by the police to treat the procession as a “gathering in the advancement of terrorism.”

Members of the sect including women and children were reported to have held the procession for a few kilometres from Berger Roundabout to Wuse, without confrontation with security operatives.

It was gathered that the procession which began at 8:00am today, lasted for less than 30 minutes.

INSIDER had earlier reported that the IMN vowed to continue with its nationwide Ashura procession today in commemoration of the death of Husayn ibn Ali, who’s known as the third Shia Imam, and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The spokesperson of the proscribed sect, Ibrahim Musa had earlier noted that the religious march would be peaceful except turned violent by security personnel.

“We will join our Shia brothers worldwide in commemorating the killing of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husayn on the tenth of Muharram (Tuesday).

“Ours is a peaceful religious procession, that is why our women and children join us. So, if there is any confrontation, it is the government that may cause it, not us”, he said.

In its response, the Nigeria Police warned the group against carrying out the procession in view of the IMN’s proscription by the Federal Government.

According to the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, any gathering by the IMN “will be treated as a gathering in the advancement of terrorism.”

The police were also reported to have barricaded the Abuja-Keffi Expressway to curtail the movement of the group during the procession.

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