Shi’ites, Police set for showdown on Tuesday over nationwide procession

By Shola Abayomi.

The proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has vowed to continue with its planned nationwide Ashura procession on Tuesday, despite recent move by the police to clamp down on its activities in the country.

INSIDER learnt that the Ashura procession is an annual exercise observed by Shi’ite Muslims all over the world to mark the death of Husayn ibn Ali, who’s known as the third Shia Imam, and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Recall that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had earlier ordered the immediate arrest of all identified leaders of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The IGP also directed a team of special police, in a signal dated August 30, 2019, to dismantle the structures of the sect in the country.

Nonetheless, the IMN is determined to carry-on with the procession on Tuesday, in the 19 northern states and Abuja.

According to the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa, all Shi’ites in the country would join their counterparts all over the world to mark the occasion, adding that the procession would be peaceful.

On the possibility of being resisted by the police, the IMN spokesman noted that members of the sect were ready to sacrifice their lives just as Imam Husayn did, stressing that women and children would join the religious march.

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

“Our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has demonstrated our love for our country. We would rather die here than leave since we are not criminals. Our procession will hold on Tuesday in Abuja and major cities in the North, Insha Allah.

“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.

“We are ready to sacrifice our lives just as Imam Husayn did in Karbala. We are not going to war, we are going on a mourning procession which is a universal event on that day”, he said.

Responding to questions on the insistence of the sect, the Police, through its spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba, said: “What do you want me to say? Let them carry out their procession first, then you would see what the police would do.”

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