Shiites and police Violent engagement increased tension and put residents life at risk in Abuja, Nigeria –
Abuja Nigeria has been known as the melting pot for Nigerians. The mixture of Nigerian elites from all regions of the country in a peaceful mix have led to the growth of commercial activities in Abuja metropolis and satellite towns. Political activities even failed to divide this tranquil town until recent actions suddenly broke the camel’s back and unleashed mayhem on Abuja streets.
Most residents of Abuja have in recent weeks decry the never ending engagement between the followers of the state imprisoned Shiite Leader El-Zakzaki and the Nigeria Police. The escalation in violence gathered momentum over the past few months, starting with daily sit out by the Shiites at the Unity Fountain Abuja. All hell were let loose last last Friday when the Shiites blocked most major roads in the Central Business Districts calling for the release of their leader by the government.
The police reacted with Force and banned all protests and unlawful gatherings in Abuja metropolitan area. But clearly undeterred, the Shiites have continued their sit tight protest. Their protesters have literally turned Abuja into a city of occupation and litters. Despite police use of its personnel to cordon and arrest the protesters. Protesters numbers had burgeoned and activities escalated, leading to fear and trepidation for inhabitants of Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and Garki communities in Abuja.
Current situation this morning Monday was reported as tense. Reports of rockets and gun shots being heard in an around central Abuja as the situation degenerate into direct use of force by the police to dislodge the protesters. several reports on social media monitored a few minutes ago warned residents to stay.indoors and avoid driving around Maitama Abuja as violence between police and protesters reaches breaking points. We shall continue to monitor situation and give updates on this platform, please be save.
Increasing tension in Abuja in these period of heightened insecurity in Nigeria leaves a little to be desired. While we are never going to indulged in the politics of Islam tenets and the insinuation of biased treatment of the Shiites Leaders -which is really a matter in the court- what we aimed at is the need for the public to be protected from the unwarranted threat to most residents going about their business in a legal manner. Why would a nation with security issues arising from religious radicalism continue to court another crises based on challenges of religious belief of over 5 million youth? This are issues to be handled professionally and we are looking forward to a more professional look at our response to these protests.