There is panic among Abuja residents as operatives of the Nigerian Police, for the second day in a row, clashed with suspected Shiite members.
We learnt from some residents that police vehicles were chasing the protesters who threw stones and other objects at them.
It was gathered that most of the violence happened near the Wuse market area of the capital. However, Traders at the market say there is calm inside.
A reporter close to the scene of the violence revealed that teargas has been used to disperse the protesters, causing panic among road users.
This incident succeeds the arrest of 115 Shiites on Monday after police forcefully dispersed the protesters, who then threw stones and other objects at security operatives.
Recall that we reported on Monday afternoon that some protesters in the federal capital Abuja were forcefully dispersed by operatives of the Nigerian Police Force in the Maitama area of the city.
It was gathered that the Shiite protesters took to the streets to demand release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, whom the Nigerian government has kept in custody for over two years, without trial, despite court orders for his release.
Photos and videos which emerged on social media showed Shiite protesters hurling stones at police water cannon vehicles near Unity Park and Transcorp Hilton Hotel, as leaders of IMN said over 200 of their members were arrested during the protest, but the police gave a lesser figure in their account of the incident.
In the statement, the Police spokesman who is a deputy superintendent of police said;
“One hundred and fifteen (115) members of the sect were arrested at the scene by police operatives,” adding that 22 officers were injured.
The spokesman who also debunked reports that some protesters were killed, said they recovered catapults, iron bars, stones, ball bearings and pink head bands from suspects.
“Contrary to speculations from some sections of the media, no life was lost in the violent protest,” Manzah said, adding that the police have commenced investigation.
“Joint team of detectives from the command”and “operatives from the IGP Monitoring Unit have commenced investigation into the incident. The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation.”