• Army confirms three sect members dead, explains clash
By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A group, the Abuja Peace and Development Initiative has raised the alarm over plans by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, to violently invade Abuja, the nation’s capital this week.
This is coming as the Nigerian Army has confirmed that three members of Shiite, died weekend, while two solders sustained injuries when the sect clashed with troops at Zuba in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The President of the Abuja peace group, Aaron Audu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, alleged that the last batch of “fighters” to launch the attack was on the way into the city.
He added the last batch of the Shiites were part of the caravan stopped at the military check point in Zuba on Saturday for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
Audu noted that their response of attacking the military men at the checkpoint instead of making a case for why they should be allowed to pass, confirmed that they were an invading force and not pilgrims on a trek.
The group alerted the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services (DSS) to stop the forceful invasion of the nation’s capital.
Audu stated: “IMN members must be reminded that Abuja, being a secular cosmopolitan city, has no room for the kind of hardship they inflicted on the resident of Zaria, where they take over roads on regularly basis on the pretext of holding religious treks.
In a related development, the Nigerian Army has confirmed that three members of IMN or Shiite, died weekend, while two solders sustained injuries when the sect clashed with troops at Zuba in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, Major General James Myam, confirmed the development in a statement yesterday.
Myam said troops of the Garrison were attacked at about 3p.m. at Zuba bridge by the sect as they escort ammunitions and missiles from Abuja to Army Central Ammunition Depot in Kaduna State.
“The sect who were supposedly in a procession, established an illegal road block denying motorists free passage.
“When the troops’ convoy attempted to clear the road block, they met stiff opposition from the sect.
“Members of the sect used various objects to barricade the road and also pelted the troops with stones and other dangerous items.
“They smashed both military and civilian vehicles’ windscreens and windows.
“They also attempted to overrun the escorts to cart away the ammunition and missiles the troops were escorting. This led to the troops opening fire to extricate themselves.
“Consequently, troops of 102 Guards Battalion in whose Area of Responsibility the incident occurred rushed to the convoy’s rescue,” Myam said.