…Non-IMN Muslims marking Ashura free to observe peaceful procession
By Nwafor Sunday
The Nigerian Police Force, Tuesday clarified some issues relating to its earlier statement on ban on procession of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
Recall that the force had on Monday cautioned IMN not to engage in any protest, noting that any activity of the group remained proscribed in line with the Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice of July 26.
But the group had on Tuesday defied the order and staged its Ashura mourning procession. The Ashura procession is an annual religious ritual carried out by the Shia Islamic sect all over the world on September 10.
However, following the deluge of enquiries concerning the ban on procession on the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Police through its Public relations officer, Frank Mba gave an insight on the issue noting that the ban on procession is applicable to members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria only.
His words, “Against this backdrop, Muslims marking the commemoration of “Ashura” throughout the country along with other Muslims across the world are free to carry out the annual “Ashura” procession. They should however do so within the confines of the law and guard against infiltration by unscrupulous elements who may want to take advantage of the event to cause disruption of public peace, order and security.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM,mni has directed all Commissioners of Police and their respective supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in Commands and Zones to give full effect to the above clarifications and ensure that non-IMN Muslims are not in any way restricted from exercising their freedom of religion, worship and peaceful assembly.
“In the same vein, the IGP has enjoined members of the public to be calm and go about their lawful businesses as the Force is doing all within its capacity to ensure there is no breach of the peace, law and order anywhere in the country.