President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the clash between Shiite protesters and officers of the Nigerian Police Force in Abuja.
The members of the Shiite’s Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) on Monday protested the continued detention of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, a foremost Nigerian Shiite cleric who was taken into custody four years ago.
The demonstration in the nation’s capital, however, ended with casualties, including the death of a deputy police commissioner and a Channels TV journalist, Precious Owolabi.
The IMN also said 11 of its members were killed during the violence.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the likely proscription of the group by the federal government, which will possibly come in the form of an executive order.
Monday’s clash had elicited reactions from Nigerians as well as a call for an investigation by different rights groups.
On his verified Twitter handle on Tuesday, @MBuhari, Mr Buhari commiserated with the families of the casualties.
“I most deeply commiserate with the families of Precious Owolabi, an NYSC member with Channels TV, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, of the FCT Police Command, who died during the violent protest by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Abuja yesterday.
“Condolences also to the management and staff of Channels TV, and the Police leadership, over the sad and regrettable loss. We salute their commitment to remaining steadfast and dedicated to their professional callings, even in this time of grief.
“I want to reassure residents of Abuja in particular and the country in general to go about their lawful activities without fear. The leadership of our security and law enforcement agencies are taking action to safeguard the nation against such mindless attacks.
“Let nobody or group doubt or test our will to act in the higher interest of majority of our citizens.
“May the Almighty God grant rest to the souls of the departed and speedy recovery to the injured.
I most deeply commiserate with the families of Precious Owolabi, an NYSC member with @channelstv, & Deputy Commissioner of @PoliceNG, Usman Umar, of the FCT Police Command, who died during the violent protest by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Abuja yesterday.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 23, 2019
Nigerians have, however, responded to the president’s post on his page, urging the president to obey the court orders and release the Shiites’ leader, to avoid issuing condolences on the matter.
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