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Army/Shiites Clash unwarranted, Lawless – CSOs

Sequel to the recent clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army in Kaduna, some Civil Society Organisations have continued to raise concerns in the manner of operations of the sect which they have largely blamed for the recent confrontation.

Shiites

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The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has condemned the clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the military at checkpoint and along Zuba area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday, describing it as ” totally unacceptable”.

According to them, the military prevented the outlawed group who wanted to invade the nation’s capital with thugs and militants, terming the act as “new variant of lawlessness that must not be allowed in any part of the country, least of all in the nation’s capital territory”.

CESJET who also reminded Nigerians of the last time the group entered the nation’s capital, accused the movement of attempting to infiltrate Abuja in order to carry out their initial threat to cause chaos in the city.

“the manner of projectiles and other weapons unleashed on the personnel manning the checkpoint is a clear indication that members of the sect were using the so called ‘Arbaeen Symbolic Trek’ as cover to infiltrate Abuja to begin carrying out attacks as they had previously threatened.

“The last time members of this outlawed group entered Abuja under the cover of a religious gathering led to weeks of confrontation with security operatives during which they destroyed vehicles parked on the streets and attacked anyone perceived to be unsympathetic to their cause,” the statemant said in part.

In the statement signed by it Executive Director, Joyce Ogwu, CESJET described the confrontation on the army as wicked, unwarranted and unprovoked.

“Even if the soldiers manning the check points acted not to allow armed persons free assess into Abuja, it does not call for the kind of unwarranted and unprovoked attack unleashed on them by the militant wing of IMN. It is most unfortunate that this is not the first time of deploying violence against an institution of state as they had in the past killed military personnel at will and shoot at anyone that dares to rein them in when they engage in improper conduct” . CESJET alluded.

They called on the Federal Government to immediately arrest and investigate those that attacked the military checkpoint, the nature of response on the part of the soldiers they attacked and any other aspect that will help prevent the kind of provocation that caused the crisis in Zuba.

However, CESJET has commended the army for its role in ensuring safety in the city as, according to them, even as it acknowledged that the check points mounted at the city entrance were not meant for the Shiites but to ensure those transporting weapons are not allowed into Abuja.

The group further called on the Armed Forces and all other security agencies to be vigilant.

This is even as they warned residents of Abuja to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons to the appropriate authorities.


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