By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA—As members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN (Shi’ite), gathered in Tudun Wadan, Kaduna, in defiance of their ban by Governor Nasir el-Rufai, a mob, mainly of the Sunni Wahabi sect, descended on the home of a local Shi’ite leader in the area, Mallam Muntari Sahabi, and set it on fire.
The burning of Sahabi’s house, who is said to be the coordinator of the Shi’ite in Kaduna, is stoking tension in the volatile area.
The Army, police and plainclothes men quickly stormed the place and restored law and order less than 30 minutes after the incident. At press time, the place was still under watch by the security personnel.
However, many parts of Kaduna were unaffected by the crisis as businesses continued unhindered.
Government had accused the Shi’ites of notoriety in infringing on the rights of residents in Zaria, where they have their headquarters.
A clash between the sect and the Nigeria Army in December last year left over 300 Shiites dead. But the Shiite claimed that the toll was over a thousand.
Meanwhile, the sect’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is still under the detention of the Directorate of State Services, DSS, while about 200 more of its members are facing prosecution in various courts in Kaduna.