The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim speaking with State House correspondents shortly after attending the launch of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem and Appeal Fund at the Presidential Villa, Abuja explained why his officers opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria during a clash in Kano on Monday.
Reacting to why policemen opened fire at Shiite members, Idris said the police was confronted by Shi’ites who were armed to the teeth.
He also said it was unlawful for the group to have blocked a major road.
“Obviously from time to time, we have been experiencing upheavals from this set of people.
“As police officers, we have responsibility to ensure there is law and order and when you have people taking over the whole country, dominating streets and buildings, we have to come in to maintain sanity in those areas.
“As of early yesterday (Monday), we got information that they were trying to block Kano to Zaria road. They later assembled in large number and our officers were deployed in the place to ensure freedom of movement of ordinary Nigerians.
“They attacked our officers, killed one of our officers. One has sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road. And that was what our officers did.”
The IGP said he agreed with those who said the Shiites, if not checked, could degenerate into insurgents like Boko Haram.
He stated; “Whether now or whenever, as police officers, we have a responsiblity to ensure there is law and order in any part of this country and to ensure that no organisations or individuals constitute themselves into a government, block passages and buildings,”.
“What happens is that there is nothing like freedom there. When you worship, you go to mosques or churches. Blocking highways and passages doesn’t constitute part of worship
“My message to Nigerians is that all of us whould be our brother’s keepers. We should appreciate the feeling of others that where your right ends, another person’s right begins. Every Nigerian has a right that must be protected. We should ensure that we protect the rights of every individual: right of freedom, right of association and right of movement.”