Again, security agencies, Shite members clash in Abuja 

A joint task force of military and Police in Abuja reportedly with an Islamic movement mostly known as Shites during their Ashura procession.

According to eyewitness, two people sustained fractures in their legs as a result of gunshot that reportedly hit them.

There are reports that one person was allegedly shot on his head, while others, including many mourners and passersby suffered from teargas attack.

The mourners in the statement wondered why Ashura procession in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Maiduguri and Potiskum ended peacefully, unlike that of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The latest attack on the Islamic group allegedly took place on Friday, July 28, 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by Sheikh Sidi Munir Mainasara on behalf of the Islamic movement under the leadership of Sheikh Ibrahim Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky, he said Ashura mourning and procession is global, insisting it is a day to mark the 10th day of Muharram, which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. 

Lamenting the Abuja incident, Mainasara stated further: “The procession started at Aminu Kano Crescent by Banex Plaza and ended at Kashim Ibrahim way by Wuse market. 

“The Ashura mourners conducted the procession chanting slogans, mentioning Imam Hussain (AS) and the tragedy of Karbala, while at the same time distributing a press release, which explains why they were on the street. 

“But at the point of closing, security agents, including the guards brigade and police, arrived at the scene and opened fire with live ammunition against the Ashura mourners. 

“The police also shoot tear gas canisters, which make the whole place smoky and unbearable to mourners and passersby.

“Up till this moment, Police are still detaining many Ashura mourners in unknown detention centres in Abuja. It is pertinent to state that Ashura is a world-renowned religious practise, and the regime has no right or power to stop us from practising our religion.

“In view of the foregoing, we are demanding the unconditional release of all those arrested. Moreover, we hold not only the Inspector-General of Police but also the Tinubu and Shettima regime responsible for this attack.”

Reacting on the development, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, dismissed the alleged attack, saying the police did not shoot any one.

But when probed further, she promised to make further confirmation and get back to Blueprint Reporter.

However, as at the time of going to press, she was yet to respond.

Ashura is a day of commemoration in Islam and is being commemorated to mourn the killing of Imam Hussain (AS), who was beheaded at Karbala (in present-day Iraq) in 61 AH, equivalent to 680 CE.

Imam Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib is a grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and a son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Sayyida Fatima bintu Muhammad (SAWA), as well as a younger brother of Imam Hassan ibn Ali. The events of the 10th of Muharram in the year 61 AH, when Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah brutally murdered Imam Hussain(as) in Karbala, Iraq, along with his family and friends, are the most tragic episode not only in the history of Islam but in all of human tragedy.

The 1445/2023 Ashura mourning has been conducted in many world cities, including London, Paris, Washington, DC.