“We Won’t Leave Abuja Without El-Zakzaky” Shiites Dare Buhari, Buratai
Despite killings of their members, Shiites have vowed not to leave Abuja without their leader, Ibrahim El-zakzaky.
“Buhari, free Zakzaky! Buratai, free El-Zakzaky!! Government, free El-Zakzaky!!! We will not surrender. Allah is our defender. We will never leave Abuja without El-Zakzaky…” Thousands of Shiite protesters chanted as they marched from the Mararaba bridge in Nasarawa state to Abuja on Monday, October 29, 2018.
The protest which started at about 2:15 pm soon turned bloody as the Shiites advanced the military checkpoint at Kugbo, a hilly area few kilometers from the popular AYA roundabout in Abuja, at about 3pm.
Attempts by the military to stop the protesters proved abortive as they felt they had conducted themselves in an organized manner that would not affect the flow of traffic.
Soon, teargas and gunshots rented the air as road users were stopped meters away from the scene. With journalists a few meters away, the combined team of men of the Nigerian Army and mobile Policemen engaged the protesters who were bearing sticks, stones and catapults.
“The military usually stopped cars, we are walking and not in cars. Why did they attempt to stop us,” spokesman of the group, Muhammadu Musa, spokesperson of the Shiites said after the incident vowing not to surrender despite the attacks on the sect.
“They (security) have been directed to kill as many of us as possible and we were expecting this,” Musa said. “We know that they are waiting for us at the checkpoint but we are determined to continue our march to Abuja. We will not stop protesting until our leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky and his wife and all our members are released. We will not stop,” he announced.
“The sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after overrunning the Police Force. The Police withdrew back to own troops position to join efforts to repel them,” the Army stated in a Facebook post same day.
“They fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle canisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with dangerous objects and other dangerous items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic.
“However, Troops repelled the attack in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force to stop the situation from further deteriorating.
“Unfortunately, during the encounter 3 members of the sect were killed while 4 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility,” the statement read.