Crime Watch

The members of the proscribed group of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also called Shiite and the Nigerian police may clash on Tuesday as the group has set Tuesday for its Ashura Procession.

The Ashura procession, also called the Day of Ashura, is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

The day is been observed annually by Shi’ite Muslims worldwide to commemorate the death of Husayn ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq.

Hussain who is considered the third Shiite Imam was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shia Imam.

Imam Husayn lost his life during the Battle of Karbala, which was fought on October 10, 680 between his army and the army of the second Umayyad caliph Yazidii.

The group being a proscribed one has dared the police where they disclosed it would observe its Ashura against all odds come Tuesday.

Conversely, the Nigeria Police Force had also dared the group to march and see what they (the police) would do.

The development coming at a time the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed that all identified Shi’ite leaders across the country should be arrested.

The IGP further directed that the team of the special police to dismantle all structures of the IMN identified in the country, vowing the police would enforce proscription order by the court and no Shi’ite group would be allowed to violate it.

However, a highly placed member of the Shi’ite group informed SUNDAY PUNCH that its members would turn out in their number from across all “cities and villages” in the 19 northern states and Abuja to mark its annual procession of the Ashura and would be unstoppable.

In a related development, the President, Media Forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, said some Shi’ites had already commenced the procession in various cities and no arrest has been reported so far.

He added, the IMN leaders and their followers had no plans to leave Nigeria or seek asylum in any country, saying their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had demonstrated love for Nigeria.

In his statement, “We will join our Shiite brothers worldwide in commemorating the killing of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husayn on the tenth of Muharram (Tuesday).