Abuja was on Monday thrown into panic mode following clashes between Shiites Mulims and policemen leading to the death of two people while over 30 people were injured and property destroyed.
The Shiites Muslim sect were protesting the continued detention of the their spiritual leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention after deadly clashes with Nigerian military in 2015 that led to the masacre of 347 Shiite Muslims.
Ibrahim Zakzaky is an Islamic cleric who was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria and has been the leader of the Shiite Muslims. He has drawn hundreds of thousands of followers due to his charismatic sermons. This led to the formation of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) with strong support from Iran.While protesting against the illegal detention of their leader, the Shiites armed themselves with sticks and stones, vandalizing vehicle windshields along their path while others were throwing stones at police vehicles.
The police battled the ragging crowds in with water cannons and AK47 riffles, leaving one dead and many injured. Over 200 protesters were arrested by the police.
Following the unrest, people began sending messages and calling their friends/relations warning them ito avoid the Aguiyi Ironsi – Transcorp axis in Maitama, Abuja.
Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has been detained by the Department of State Security (DSS) without trial since December 2015. He was granted bail by the court but the Federal Government has kept him detained while ignoring rulings for his bail.
El-Zakzaky’s health has been deteriorating while in custody. It was reported that he had lost his sight on one eye while his second eye is seriously affected by glaucoma.