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Protesters block Federal Secretariat, NASS as Shiites mark third year anniversary of Zaria killings

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From Jonas Ike, Abuja

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria otherwise known as Shittes on Thursday stormed the Federal Secretariat Complex, the National Assembly Complex and the main road leading to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja protesting the immediate release of their leader Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky.
The group protesters numbering over two thousand with uniforms and placards with various inscriptions said that they are protesting the release of the their leader Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky as well as marking the third anniversary of the death of over 1200 members of the sect in the hands of military personnel at Zaria Kaduna State three years ago.
Some of the placards borne by the protesters read thus: “Buhari wants to kill Elzakzaky in detention facility, Today marks three years anniversary of the annihilation of peaceful protesters in Zaria by the military, We won’t be cowed, Buhari is a coward among other boldly written inscriptions.
The group marched from the Unity Fountain to the Eagles Square and made a detour at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation before heading towards the Aso Rock Presidential Villa chanting different songs in bewilderment
They called for the immediate release of the Islamic cleric and challenged the military and other security agents to only focus on their professional duties as security officers of the nation instead of dabbling into issues that are purely civil in nature.
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Moreover, the entrance to the nation’s apex legislature-the National Assembly was also today barricaded by security agents notably men of the Nigeria Police as protesters stormed the legislative institution demanding the intervention of the parliament on the crisis at Kuchigoro a sub-urban settlement of Abuja the nation’s capital from the military who they said have turned to land grabbers.
Spokesman of the group Mr Moses Tanko who addressed journalists on the matter said that the military personnel drafted to ensure security of lives in the area have turned themselves into a menace due to their penchant for land grabbing.
He alleged that they had killed no less than 12 persons including pregnant women and children in the past two days as they launched an unmitigated onslaught on the residents of the area with their weapons.
Meanwhile, a scheduled security meeting of some of the top echelon of the Nigeria Police Force with the Inspector-General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu fixed for 10:00 am on Thursday was rescheduled due to the protests at the Federal Secretariat and National Assembly.
A contingent of senior Police personnel were drafted to the affected areas immediately to ensure the maintenance of peace and order in these areas.

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