By Lawrence Olaoye
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has said that his men had to apply maximum force to quell the protests by men of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known a Shiite movement, because they constituted threats against national security.
Responding to questions from newsmen after the launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the IGP said his men were “ responding to the threats against security of lives and property within the FCT.
It is our responsibilities to take care of security” On what becomes the fate of the 400 Shittes reportedly arrested by the Police, the IGP said they would be charged to court yesterday.
Asked to suggest measures to stem incessant protests by the sect, Idris said the government was perfecting plans to convey stakeholders meeting to persuade El- Zakzaky followers to end protests
The Shiites had, for three consecutive days engaged the security agencies, to reinforce their demands for release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who had been incarcerated by the Federal government since December , 2016, despite Court orders for his release.
Those to be arraigned were arrested at various locations within the Federal Capital Territory following protest march that resulted into bloody clashes between the Shiites and the Military.
The confrontation with security operatives created tensions and hardships for residents of the FCT, and also resulted in the death of several members of the sect at various locations in the city, as the Shiites went on rampage burning security vehicle at Wuse 11, in the FCT, on Tuesday.
On what government intended to do with the arrested sect members, the police boss said “You know that when we make arrests, the next thing is to take them before the law Courts. We are going to take them before the law Court today. This could the Magistrate Court or Federal High Court”
On efforts to ensure peace and prevent recurrence, Idris said “We are liaising with major stakeholders, major religious groups in this country. I think we need to do something to end this crises as soon as possible and by the Grace of God we will end the crises soon”
Asked how the police intended to ensure security in the FCT following infiltration of the sect members into the city, Idris assured that he had ordered deployment of his men to identified dark spots to flush out criminal elements.
“We have made some major deployments, and all l can say is that we want to appeal to everybody to cooperate with us to end these crises and by the Grace of God, we will bring the protests to an end,” he assured.
The IGP also assured Nigerians of free and fair elections ahead of the 2019 general elections, but appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with security agencies to ensure success during the election.