Governor Jonal Jang
Seriki Adoniyi and Ibrahim Shaibu
With the fury over a film deemed to insult the Prophet Mohammed gaining strength in cities in the Middle East and North Africa, calm returned to Jos Saturday after security agents dispersed a crowd that gathered to forment trouble after Friday’s Fidau prayers.
Security has also been heightened in the state particularly in Jos North local government area, where the heat was more on Friday afternoon despite sermons by scholars that youths should not protest.
With armoured vans spotted at some locations, scrutiny at various checkpoints in the area has also been increased to check hoodlums who might want to take advantage of the security challenge to wreck havoc. This has resulted into long queues at such checkpoints making life difficult for motorists.
As at the time of filing this report, fears of similar incidents in Kaduna and Kano seemed non-existent, even though security agents were noticeable in locations around Kano.
The combined team of army and policemen were noticeable around Gidan Murtala roundabout, Shiek Ahmad Tijjani Mosque, Dangi roundabout and all the Jumaat Mosque of the city to forestall any protests.
Kano State’s Police spokesman, ASP Musa Magaji Majiya confirmed that they were in the streets to ensure security. He said “the policemen will remain in all the areas they were posted to ensure that there is no protest or breakdown of law in the state,” he said.
Meanwhile in the United States, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the California filmmaker believed to be behind the blasphemous flick, was released after a voluntary interview with American security agencies. The overnight meeting ended with them tagging him “cooperative”, and came a day after federal officials said they were reviewing his probation as he was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and placed on supervised probation for five years.
American security officials consider Nakoula to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Islam “Innocence of Muslims” which has drawn the ire of Muslims around the world.
Since notice of the film spread through YouTube, Nakoula has been out of public view and ensconced with his family in their home in Cerritos, California, where journalists have been gathered seeking information about his elusive background.
The movie, backed by hardcore anti-Islam groups in the United States, is a low-budget project that was ignored in the United States when trailers were posted on YouTube in July.