The Police in Kaduna on Thursday, dispersed hundreds on anti-Zakzaky protesters at the Government House Kaduna, leading to several sustaining minor injuries while trying to run to safety.
The youth who filed out carrying banners and placards, were mistaken for Shi’ites, loyal to Sheikh Zakzaky and his proscribed group, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
Few minutes after they had converged outside the Government House gate, waiting for an address from the representatives of the Kaduna State Government, anti-riot policemen from the state’s security outfit, Operation Yaki stormed the venue in trucks, firing tear gas, and armed with sticks.
Their presence took the protesters by surprise, because they informed that they had already informed the Police of the planned protest before embarking on it.
After they were identified as anti-Zakzaky, they were allowed to converge few metres from the Government House Gate, displaying their banners and posters.
Addressing the protesters, Comrade Richard Augustine who spoke on behalf of the group, Justice and Peace Development, condemned the calls by the IMN for the release of Zakzaky.
“Our march today is therefore, to demand that El Zakzaky and other IMN extremists arrested for terrorism related cases must be prosecuted. IMN’s foreign sponsors must stop taking Nigeria for granted as we must not join the league of countries whose security agencies know terrorists and still leave them to carry out attacks before executing them to show they are working,” he said.
Speaking further, he condemned what he termed the denigrating of the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo by IMN.
“Osinbajo merely stated the fact when he said El Zakzaky remains in detention because there is an appeal against his court ordered release. Those calling for the release of Zakzaky have failed,” he added.
Comrade Augustine said by their protest on Thursday, they have made a strong statement that those pursuing the release of Zakzaky will be faced pound for pound by even bigger anti-Zakzaky protests.
“But unlike them, we would not be asking for the release of extremists, we are rather demanding that all extremists and terrorists should be tried under the stiffest of our laws to serve as deterrence,” he submitted