By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Nigeria Police in Zaria Kaduna State has dispersed members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) commemoration of the 6th Anniversary of death of three sons of group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and 32 others.
While the Commemoration of the July 25, 2014 Quds Programme was ongoing at Unguwar Bishar Cemetry, Zaria City, six Hilux Trucks with armed policemen stormed the event.
On arrival, the IMN members started chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) while the police fired tear gas and live ammunition at them.
When contacted, ASP Mohammed Jalige, Kaduna state Police Public Relations Officer, said he would reach the Police Area Commander, Zaria and report back to our Reporter.
As at the time of filing this report, Jalige did not get back to our reporter.
However, Sheikh Abdulhamid Bello, Chairman Shuhada Foundation of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Zaria said the group was commemorating the martyrdom of their members who died on July 25, 2014.
He said the commemoration was an annual event which is usually observed by special prayers, lectures and visiting the tombs of their martyrs.
Bello said the event was aimed at remembering their late members, adding that, “We don’t want to forget our members who died in the unfortunate incidence on July 25, 2014.”
“For over forty years, the Islamic Movement annually observes the International Quds Day.
“The day is usually observed by the end of Ramadan and on July 25, 2014 our members were attacked in Zaria during the procession while observing the Day which led to the death of our members.” He said.
According to him, the organization commemorates the July 25, 2014 incidence at Fudiyya School at Babban Dodo area, Zaria city but this year the police cordoned the place.
He added that the organisation moved the event to Darur-Rahma, Dembo, along Jos Road, Zaria (where the martyrs were buried) similarly Police went and cordoned the area.
“We finally moved the event to Unguwar Bishar Cemetery and the Police also moved to the cemetery and started throwing tear gas and live bullets on our people,” he said.
Bello said the organization was observing its religious rights and did not need to have permission or intimate the police about it.
He also said that they must not report to the police before going to the mosque or conducting a wedding or marriage ceremony.
It would be recalled that on July 25, 2014, there was a Quds demonstration in Zaria, leading to a clash between the group and Nigerian Army, which led the death of three sons of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and 32 others.