Members of the Nigerian Police Force and protesting Shiite Muslims are presently facing off in Abuja. The Shiite members were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky on Monday at Maitama, when armed policemen swooped on them, firing tear gas canisters at them.
Several gunshots have been fired. Also the entire Aguiyi Ironsi and Gana Streets in Maitama vicinity are currently eye-blazing with so much tear gas in the air, fired from Police tear gas canisters.
Apparently, the protest escalated into violent attacks as protesters have been allegedly destroying both private & public properties. The development paralysed traffic and commercial activities around the area as everyone avoided the area to avoid getting caught up in the fracas.
The police had last Friday cordoned off the Unity Fountain where the Shiite members usually hold their rallies. They also arrested an activist and convener, Concerned Citizens, Deji Adeyanju, who had been championing the protests for over three weeks.
If you don't have an emergency please don't be out on the streets of Abuja today.— Igala_Alan_Shore (@i_am_Anomeli) April 16, 2018
Friends tell me that stray bullets entered the windows of NCC during the face off between Security agencies & Shiites in Maitama pic.twitter.com/oSztVf5xsW
PLEASE avoid Transcorp Hilton - Millennium Park Road Abuja NOW.— Gbemi Dennis (@GbemiDennis) April 16, 2018
There’s a riot going on...
Reason not yet known (probably Shiites)
If your office is by NUC, Miatama Axis. kindly stay safe, boys are breaking windscreen down & stoning too.
God will help us o...
PLS RT#SafeAbuja pic.twitter.com/Kt7ZxnSuKt
Nigerian policemen vs Shiites faithfuls happening now in front of NCC Maitama, Abuja. pic.twitter.com/8gpdCznnoY— BT-TV (@bttvng) April 16, 2018
How can you allow another sect to come into Abuja and display their might. Besiege Abuja. Your spokesperson even brags about the gathering then you deny SHIITES their own right to peaceful gathering. No sect is more than another sect. Everyone should have equal right— Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu) April 16, 2018
This Government must resist any urge to use force in their bid to stop the Shiites. I wonder why they cannot just release the man they claim is being detained for his own safety.— Abdulrahman Usman Leme (@Abdulrahmanleme) April 16, 2018
We have enough violence on our plate already...Government must apply wisdom here.
@PoliceNG By firing water cannons and live bullets at Shiite protesters in Abuja, it seems you've taken it upon yourselves to make a bad situation infinitely worse.— Mr. Aye Dee (@MrAyeDee) April 16, 2018
Nigerian Shiites ARE Nigerians, and their freedom of association and assembly must be respected.
The shiites have actually bn very peaceful & law abiding.— OlorogunErnest (@OlorogunErnest) April 16, 2018
The question remains, Why is the FG still detaining Elzakzaky even against court orders for his release?
Let's always say the truth pls. These protest are avoidable if injustice is avoided .
Shiites members who want their leader El Zakzaky relased, clash with Police around Maitama in Abuja. Sigh...— Umeh and 99 others (@UmehOMA) April 16, 2018
I don't understand why some of us are saying its a clash between Shiites and @PoliceNG. The Nigerian Police is firing live bullets and tear gas at civilians.— SIDIBE (@Aamir_Sidibe) April 16, 2018