Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on Thursday protested in the Wuse 2 area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in their usual procession, calling on the Federal Government to release their leader, Ibraheem Zakzaky.
This is also as a spokesman for the sect, Mr Ibrahim Musa, told our correspondent that seven female members of the group had gone missing since the clash between soldiers and the Shiites at the Kugbo checkpoint in the Karu area of the FCT.
He alleged that the military knew the whereabouts of the missing women.
Musa, who said the sect would publish the identities of the women next week, called on Nigerians to condemn alleged military brutality against the Shiites.
Our correspondent observed that the Shiites, in their hundreds, marched towards the Banez roundabout chanting their usual song, “Free El-Zakzaky,” while the police operatives at the roundabout tried to direct their movements.
The protest began by noon and lasted till around 6pm.
Musa said, “Yes, we have been having our procession since Monday. We have not stopped. We are still looking for seven of our women. They have been missing since the day of the army clash. The military has to tell us where they are. We will publish their names in a release by next week.”
The movement had said a week ago that more than 100 members of the sect were injured by the police and army personnel in the clashes in Zuba and Karu areas of Abuja, noting that they needed urgent medical attention.
The movement had stated that it had spent more than N8m treating its injured members, while about N25m was still needed to treat more causalities of the army and police clashes.
A spokesman for the Shiites Academic Forum, Sheikh Abdullahi Zango, had also alleged that more than 1,000 members were missing while 156 were being detained by the police.
But the military had insisted that only three persons died in the Kugbo checkpoint clash, noting that its personnel were not responsible for other casualties, if any.
However, the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, said in an interview with our correspondent, that there was no military order from any quarters to combat the Shiites.