In clear defiance of an earlier warning from the Nigeria Police, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiites have embarked on their Ashura mourning procession in Abuja and other parts of the country.
The Ashura procession is an annual religious ritual carried out by the Shia Islamic sect all over the world on September 10.
The participants including men, women and children who held the procession from Berger Roundabout to Wuse, hurriedly concluded the exercise to avoid any confrontation with security personnel.
Punch reports that the procession which commenced by 8 am on Tuesday and lasted for about 25 minutes caused traffic gridlock in the commercial area but with no reports of any confrontations.
The situation was however different in Gombe State as policemen reportedly opened fire on the Sheikh Ibrahim Ek-Zakzaky followers during the Ashura procession, leaving one person dead with many sustaining various degrees of injuries.
The IMN had on Monday alerted the public that the Police were planning to attack the Ashura mourning procession holding in Abuja and other cities in northern Nigeria.
They alleged that they had credible information that the Police Force ‘will employ extrajudicial approach to assault , arrest or kill whoever participates in the religious event’.
The Police had warned the sect against embarking on the procession, stressing that by virtue of the Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice of July 26, 2019, the IMN had been proscribed in the country and therefore cannot hold any procession.
In a statement, the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba had said any gathering by the Shiites would be treated as a gathering in the advancement of terrorism.