President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday warned that the protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ites, were testing the patience of the Federal Government with their violent protests in Abuja.
He said the FG might be forced to act with maximum force to defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians.
Reacting to the killing of Deputy Commissioner of Police Usman Umar and National Youth Service Corps member, Precious Owolabi, during Monday’s protest by the sect, Buhari called on any group carrying out violent protests to stop now, else the government would take decisive actions against them.
“Let nobody or group doubt or test our will to act in the higher interest of the majority of our citizens,” a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying on Tuesday.
The President said he was deeply touched by the death of Umar and Owolabi as he condoled with their families and the management of Channels TV, where the corps member was attached to.
He described the two as “law-abiding, hard-working and vibrant Nigerians with a promising future.”
Shi’ites continue protest in Abuja
Meanwhile, Police launched tear gas canisters and fired gunshots to disperse members of the IMN who filled the streets of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Tuesday in continuation of their protest against the continued detention of their leader their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
El-Zakzaky has been detained by the Federal Government since December 2015.
The IMN, popularly known as Shi’ites, on Monday, began their protest to press home their demand.
But the protest turned violent, leading to the death of Umar and Owolabi who was reporting for Channels TV. Two Shi’ites were allegedly killed while two Assistant Superintendent of Police and others got injured.
However, the IMN claimed 11 of their members were killed by security forces with 30 injured.
However, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who said they arrested 54 protesters, claimed the Shi’ites shot dead Umar.
Tuesday’s protest by the sect, which started from Banex Plaza in the Wuse 2 area of the FCT, again halted economic activities in the capital as many residents scampered to safety to avoid being caught in the crossfire between security forces and the protesters.
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