An unspecified number of people have been reportedly killed following a clash between members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiites, and security details attached to the convoy of Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Thursday.
The incident happened on Thursday in the Rigasa area along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Western Bypass in Igabi local government when the governor went to flag off the reconstruction of the road that leads to the Kaduna International Airport.
According to some sources in the area, the governor’s convoy ran into the IMN members who were protesting along the road, demanding the release of international travel documents of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenat by the Federal Government.
A member of the group, Mohammed Ibrahim was quoted by Channels Television as saying that the IMN members started their procession from the Gwamna Road junction, heading to Bakinruwa along the expressway when they met the governor’s convoy coming in the opposite direction.
He claims that the security details attached to the governor’s convoy immediately opened fire on the innocent protesters and, in the process, killed some of their members and injured several others.
Meanwhile, the ‘Shiites’, has accused the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, of causing the death of five members of the group when his security details allegedly opened fire on them during a protest in Kaduna on Thursday.
A statement signed by the Secretary of the Academic Forum of the movement, Abdullahi Musa said the “inciting statement” made by the governor a few days ago led to the incident.
“Few days ago, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, incited members of his political Party in Zaria, against the Islamic movement in Nigeria and its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky(H), where he told them that they must vote his anointed candidate, Senator Uba Sani, so he may finish off what he described as the remnants of El-zakzaky’s Shiites in Zaria.
“The governor told the APC faithful that it’s only his successor that can fight and finish the Shiites in the state. Incidentally, less than 48 hours to the state’s governorship election, followers of the oppressed leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria came out to protest against tyrant Buhari’s refusal to remove the illegal travelling ban on their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife to travel out for medical treatment, El-Rufai’s convoy ran into the protesters and opened fire with live ammunition on them, killing more than five on the spot.
“These include Aliyu Suleiman, an 18-year-old Mechanical Engineering student of Kaduna State Polytechnic. Several others sustained various degrees of life-threatening injuries. An unspecified number of passers-by were also shot and arrested.”
However, Police Command said it has arrested the suspected attackers of the convoy of the state Governor El-Rufai by suspected members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiites.
A statement by the spokesman of the Command, Mohammed Jalige, says the security officials attached to the Governor’s convoy cleared the Bakin Ruwa axis of Rigasa, Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway after armed hoodlums suspected to be members of the IMN attacked law-abiding citizens and prevented motorists from plying the route.
He explained that the hoodlums in a large number were intercepted harassing innocent citizens on Thursday at about 3 pm when the convoy of the Kaduna state Governor arrived at the place.
According to him, the hoodlums on sighting the convoy began firing weapons/stones, hitting several private vehicles along with a few in the convoy.
During the process, the security men professionally contained the miscreants without the use of force, while some of the hoodlums strongly suspected to be IMN members were arrested. A probe is also ongoing, he said.