Angry youth in Tudun Wada, Kaduna, on Wednesday morning torched the home of Mukhtar Sahabi, a leader of the Shi’a Islamic sect, along Zango Road.
A resident who was at the scene confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.
The youth, believed to be residents of the area, attacked some members of the Shiite sect who were living in the house.
“I was wondering what was going on this morning when I saw youth in hundreds setting the house on fire,” said the witness. “Before the security operatives could come all of them had gone.”
Sahabi Mukhtar is the leader of the Shia sect in Kaduna and is popularly called the governor.
The area has been cordoned by security operatives.
“We are standing at distance to see what next is going to happen. But there is peace around the area,” the witness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said.
The attack came a day after a standoff between soldiers and members of the group, outlawed last week by the Kaduna government.
Worshippers had gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar, UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, said earlier Tuesday in a statement.
Later, the gathering was encircled by armed troops.
The standoff ended later in the night after the troops withdrew.
The military activity around the area earlier on Tuesday was reminiscent of the run-up to the massacre last December of hundreds of supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria by the army and the arrest of its leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
Mr. Zakzaky remains in government custody.
One resident said Zango community members have always complained about the activities of the Shiite group gathering at Mr. Sahabi’s residence.
“For me I will never support violence but Sahabi’s house here is risky for us. Every evening they gather at his house singing hate songs against the governor and Buhari and even none Shiite people,” said the resident.