John Shiklam in Kaduna
Four members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiite were on Wednesday killed in the Muslim-dominated area of Tudun Wada in Kaduna metropolis following an attack by irate youths.
The angry mob was said to have also demolished the Islamic school belonging to the Shiites in the area.
The Kaduna state government had, last week, placed a ban on the IMN, describing it as an illegal organisation. The state government also directed security agencies to arrest its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, for identifying himself and issuing a widely publicized statement for an illegal group.
The government had clamped down on members of the Islamic group following persistent and massive protests demanding the release of their leader. Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who had been in detention since December 12, 2015, following his arrest during a clash between his group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria.
The Shiite members alleged that the police instigated the attack on them.
Members of the sect were said to have made frantic efforts to address a press conference at the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), but their efforts yielded no result as the journalists were said to have deserted the Press Centre as they feared security agents may invade the place to arrest the Shiite members following the ban.
The residence of one Muktar, said to be a leader of the Shiites in the area, was also set ablaze but the timely arrival of men of the fire service quenched the fire.
The mob was said to have descended on them with sticks, machetes, knives, stones and other weapons, injuring several of them.
It is being alleged that the Shiites looked at other Muslims with disdain, as they consider them not be true Muslims.
Efforts to contact the spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa on the issue proved abortive as his phone was switched off. He was declared wanted last week by the state government.