Abuja-Keffi Road on Lockdown as Shiites Defy Police

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By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

For several hours on Tuesday morning, the Abuja-Keffi Road was virtually closed to traffic, after security operatives condoned it, to prevent the members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from marching into parts of Abuja,for their annual Ashura religious procession.

The gridlock on the strategic road delayed many motorists on the road. The Ashura procession marks the tenth day of the first month in the Islamic calendar.

However, despite the intense security checks and warning by Police that they would consider the planned procession as “a gathering in advancement of terrorism”, the IMN members, collectively known as the Shiites, in defiance, regrouped in Wuse, Abuja and observed their religious procession unmolested.

The spokesman of Shiites, Abdulahi Musa, accused the police of arbitrarily shooting and killing four of their members during Tuesday’s processions across the country.

Musa said three Shiite adherents were killed in Kaduna while one person died in Bauchi State.