NSCIA: Shiites Plan to Hold Nationwide Protest Friday


Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has alerted security operatives to plans by Shiites to embark on a nationwide demonstration tomorrow to protest the United States’ killing of Iranian General Qasim Soleimani, in Iraq last week.

The Shiites, also known as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and suspected to be affiliated to Iran, embarked on a protest march in some parts of Abuja on Monday condemning the US action.

During the protest, they burned the US flag while chanting anti-American and anti-Israel slogans.

But NSCIA spokesman, Aselemi Ibrahim, in statement, called on the security organisations to maintain law and order.

The council also appealed to the organisers of the planned protests to shelve the idea in the interest of national security, saying that the timing is wrong as it could lead to loss of lives if hijacked.

It warned Muslim youths of the dangers of taking to the streets, saying they should not allow their emotions to overcome their sense of reasoning.
The Shiite group has been having series of street protests, particularly in Abuja, which often escalated into full scale violence with security operatives since their spiritual leader, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky was detained in 2015 after the group clashed with the military in Kaduna State.

Clashes with the police in July last year led to the death of a senior police officer and a journalist, while 40 protesters were in police custody in the aftermath of the clash.