© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Our procession was peaceful but police killed 12 of our members—IMN
THE Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on Tuesday says 12 of its members who observed the Ashura mourning peaceful procession across the nation were killed by men of Nigeria police.
The Movement said the affected members were killed in Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe states — three in each of the states while two persons killed in Sokoto and one in Katsina states.
“At least three people were confirmed killed by the police in Kaduna and 10 others injured, some fatally, when thousands of Muslim brothers and sisters trooped out in the early hours of today Tuesday to commemorate the tragic events of Ashura,” Ibrahim Musa, President Media Forum for the Movement said in a statement.
“In Bauchi, reports also have it that three people were killed during the Ashura procession when the police attacked the mourners. Likewise, three other people were killed by the police in Azare, also in Bauchi state. Another three people were killed by the police in Gombe, Gombe State.”
Explaining how the killed took place, Musa said one person was reportedly killed by the police in Illela, during the Ashura procession, and another person was allegedly killed in Goronyo, both in Sokoto State.
In Malumfashi, Katsina State, he disclosed that another person was reportedly killed, adding that several persons sustained gunshot wounds in Katsina town when the police allegedly opened fire on the mourners.
“Not only during the mourning procession, but afterwards, as well as armed policemen attempted to forcibly make their way into the Islamic Centre of the Movement,” he said.
Musa noted that the 2019 Ashura procession held in all the state capitals of the North and Abuja, maintaining that ended peacefully in Abuja, Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum.
“Today’s show of shame and rage by the police across the states was sequel to the tragic orders given to it by the Inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu to brutally attack the peaceful Ashura mourners.
“That the mourning procession ended peacefully in places not attacked by the police is sufficient evidence as to who the instigators of violence are whenever we are carrying out our legitimate religious duties.
“We are grateful to Allah the Almighty that has granted us the courage to come out in several cities and villages across the country to commemorate the brutal killing of Imam Hussein (AS), the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S) as it is done in several cities across the globe, despite intimidation and threats by the federal government and its agents, acting on behalf of the Saudis by proxy,” Musa said in the statement.
The ICIR Police Spokesperson, Frank Mba did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone to to verify the casualty claim made by the IMN as at the time of filing this report.
The police had on Monday issued a statement warning the group to halt the planned procession.
The police headquarters insisted that members of the Islamic group would be treated as terrorists, if they decide otherwise, thereby directing State Commissioners to prevent the procession from holding.
However, the IMN insisted the procession would hold as planned.
The Federal Government had in July, proscribed the group as a terrorist organisation.
The Kaduna Police Command also accused the protesters of defying prior warning.
However, after the procession, the group claimed the casualty figures might increase due to the alleged gunshot wounds sustained by some of the mourners.