POLICE DISPERSE SHIITE PROTESTERS FROM ABUJA PARK

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

The police in Abuja on Wednesday, occupied the Unity Fountain, Maitama and prevented members of the Shiite movement from congregating to hold their daily protest over the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky.

The group had been holding sit-outs at the park to press home their demand for the release of their leader and his wife.

The protesters were, however, not discouraged as they simply moved to the National Assembly entrance where they held their rally.

A civil society group, Concerned Nigerians, flayed the police action, describing it as an attack on the Shiite members’ rights to peaceful assembly and movement.

The group spokesman, Theophilus Abata, in a statement said, “We condemn in strong terms the attack on our members and that of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria at the Unity Fountain, Abuja by officers and men of the Nigeria Police.

“Our group, Concerned Nigerians, and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, came under serious attack and we were prevented from holding our 78th daily sit-out to demand the unconditional release of Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky who has been incarcerated for over 800 days.

“We are greatly worried that we now live in a nation  where citizens cannot freely express themselves or carry out a peaceful procession without being harassed or attacked by the police that are saddled with the responsibility to protect them,” it added.

The group stated that it would not rest “until those who were extrajudicially killed in Zaria get justice and their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife are released from detention.”

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