By George Onmonya Daniel
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as the Shi’ites who have been protesting in Abuja to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, again on Monday engaged officers of the Nigerian police in a violent encounter around the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
NEWISSUES Editor, Remi Adebayo who witnessed the scene described it as a war zone considering the sporadic shooting and pandemonium that trailed the face-off.
“Some of the Shi’ite members were throwing firebombs at the police and making frantic effort to attack the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with petrol bomb and catapult. It is quite serious,” Remi Adebayo said.
Adebayo reported that members of the group had converged at NICON Junction, Wuse 2 from where they swooped on the Federal Secretariat before the attempt to disperse them by the police who started firing teargas at the protesters.
Trouble started when members of the movement resisted the police by throwing improvised petrol bomb, catapult and stones which they hurled at the security agents as they made spirited effort at the foreign ministry.
While the dust settles, at least a member of the Shi’ite movement was killed and undisclosed number similarly injured.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, DCP Usman Umar who was shot in the encounter is reportedly dead, in a statement issued by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Uba while a reporter of Channels Television who was reportedly hit by stray bullet is said to be receiving treatment in an Abuja hospital.