By Shola Abayomi.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has denied any involvement in the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Usman Umar and the burning of properties belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja yesterday.
According to the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Musa, the protest by the group over the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had been peaceful before security operatives tried to forcefully disperse them near the Federal Secretariat.
He said, “Security forces led by the Nigerian police shot at our members, and injured many others. I can confirm to you that, we have carried away six dead bodies belonging to our members.
“The security agents also lifted some corpses to unknown destinations. We are yet to account for some of our members who came out to protest today. We believe the number of casualties may increase before today ends.”
Musa maintained that the protesters were unarmed, so couldn’t have confronted armed policemen, adding that contrary to viral reports, no Shiites member burnt properties belonging to NEMA or killed DCP Umar.
He accused security operatives who shot sporadically in a forceful attempt to disperse the protesters for masterminding the vandalization and killings in order to win public sympathy and blackmail the IMN.
“Our protest began from NITEL junction through Ahmadu Bello Way to the Federal Secretariat. On our arrival, we were still prepping to pray and disperse peacefully before live ammunitions were released at our members to forcefully send us home. We were unarmed. We couldn’t have confronted armed policemen.
“No member of our movement was involved in the setting ablaze of vehicles and the outpost of NEMA as alleged. But we know the authorities have been making frantic efforts to blackmail us and sway the public sympathy against IMN and Sheikh El-Zakzaky.
“We are aware the police have been sending paid agents in plain clothes to infiltrate our meetings and disturb public peace in the name of IMN. But the Nigerian people are already frustrated and oppressed by this administration. The government can’t get the public sympathy they desire, because its agents are committing crimes against humanity”, he said.