By Stanley Onyekwere
Hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) yesterday marched round the Eagle Square and Federal Secretariat complex in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.
The IMN otherwise called Shiites were seen bearing placards with different messages, and marching peacefully through the busy office complex, just a few metres from the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly complex.
The non-violent demonstration took place, barely 24 hours after some protesting young IMN otherwise called Shiites members stormed and blocked roads around the complex, thereby grounding human and vehicular traffic, resulting in a clashed with Police.
In particular, during yesterday’s peaceful demonstration, the aggrieved Shi’ites protesters, mainly youth, women and children purportedly thronged the area in their numbers, voicing their demands, just a few metres from the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly complex.
It was observed that the police and other paramilitary personnel were spotted providing security cover for the Shi’ites protesters as they marched through the streets without hindrances.
Our correspondent reports that the march which lasted for about one hour was in furtherance to the series of sustained protests by the Shi’ites group, demanding the released of their leader Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Meanwhile, during Monday’s protest, which resulted in a clash with the police attached to the busy Secretariat, the protesters reportedly pelted a police Hilux van with stones, causing damage on it.
It was gathered that during the fracas, some Policemen sustained different degree of injuries, while about 60 IMN members were apprehended in the process.
However, the protesters were later dispersed, as they were overpowered by the police, which re-enforced and confronted them with tear gas and water cannon to quell the confrontation.