Avoid large crowds and demonstrations, U.S. warns citizens in Nigeria

Shiite stormed the main entrance of the legislative complex on Wednesday afternoon
Shiites stormed the main entrance of the legislative complex on Wednesday afternoon

The United States has advised its citizens in Nigeria to avoid large crowds and demonstrations in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and Lagos, its commercial nerve centre.

The U.S. Mission in Nigeria issued the alert on Friday ahead of ‘expected’ protest by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria advises U.S. citizens that large demonstrations by protesters affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria are expected in the coming days throughout the country, including Abuja and Lagos.

“Protests by this group in the Nigerian capital on July 9 became violent, including exchanges of gunfire between protestors and Nigerian Police, resulting in a couple of deaths. The U.S. Mission advises its citizens to avoid these demonstrations and remain in safe areas during these periods,” a statement by the mission reads.

Consequently, the mission advised U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations and large crowds, be aware of their surroundings, monitor local media for updates and carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa.

The mission also urged all affected to review their personal security plans.

This admonition is coming at the height of spates of violent protests by members of IMN popularly called Shiites.

On Tuesday, a clash between the group and police led to the hospitalisation of two officers. Two IMN members were also reportedly killed by the police. About nine vehicles were destroyed allegedly by the protesters demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Advertisement

wits Advert

The police said it arrested 40 members of the group following the confrontation at the National Assembly.

In a statement signed by Abdullahi Musa, a leader of the group’s Academic Forum on Wednesday, IMN said the injured officers were attacked by their colleagues planted as moles within the group.

The protest continued in Abuja on Thursday and Friday.

Mr El-Zakzaky has been arrested since December 2015 after soldiers clamped down on his supporters and killed at least 347 of them. The soldiers accused the Shiite group of blocking a major road that was to be used by army chief Tukur Buratai.

That massacre of the Shiites has been condemned by local and international rights groups.

Since the December 2015 incident, Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah have been in detention; first without trial for about a year. They were eventually charged with murder for the death of a soldier during the December 2015 incident.

Advertisement

Akwa-ibom Advert

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.