A clash might occur between the Nigerian Police Force and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, on September 10 as Shi’ites prepare for their Ashura procession.
The procession known as the Day of Ashura, is celebrated by Shi’ites on the tenth day of Muharram on the Islamic calendar, in commemoration of the death of Husayn ibn Ali.
The Shi’ite group have dared the Nigerian Police Force by stating that they will observe the day, despite being proscribed as a terrorist group.
This is coming amidst reports that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the arrest of all Shi’ite leaders in Nigeria.
Despite the IGP’s directive, a highly placed member of the group told Punch that the group would observe the day.
Confirming the move, the President, Media Forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, revealed that Shi’ites have already commenced mourning processions.
He also pointed out that IMN members have no plans to seek asylum outside the country because their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky has love for Nigeria.
“To date, there have been no arrests since we started the Ashura mourning procession in various cities and villages. We will join our Shia brothers worldwide in commemorating the killing of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husayn on the tenth of Muharram (Tuesday).
“Our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has demonstrated our love for our country. We would rather die here than leave since we are not criminals. Our procession will hold on Tuesday in Abuja and major cities in the North, Insha Allah.”
Noting that the procession would be peaceful, he revealed how they would react if confronted by the police.
“Ours is a peaceful religious procession, that is why our women and children join us. So, if there is any confrontation, it is the government that may cause it, not us. We are ready to sacrifice our lives just as Imam Husayn did in Karbala. We are not going to war, we are going on a mourning procession which is a universal event on that day.”