A clash between members of the Shi’ite movement who were protesting against the continued detention of its leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and some rival Islamic youths in Jos, Plateau State has left one person dead while several others sustained varied degrees of injuries.
The Media and Communications Officer of the Special Task Force, also known as ‘Operation Safe Haven’, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, while disclosing this said the Commander of the task force, Maj. Gen. Tagbo Udeh, has ordered a ban on all forms of processions and rallies in the state, adding that before such rallies or processions are carried out, permission must be gotten from the police.
Shi’ite women in their number had on Saturday staged a protest in Jos, demanding the release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and members of the movement arrested during the clash between members of the sect and the soldiers on December 12, in Zaria, Kaduna State for proper medical attention.
Speaking with Punch on Sunday, Iweha said some members of the movement were also arrested when the peaceful procession turned violent at Bauchi road, leading to the death of one person.
He said the incident had created tension around Bauchi Road, Rikkos, Angwan Rogo, Dilimi, Nasarawa, Gwom and many other Hausa-dominated areas, leading to a clash between some rival Muslim sects.
He said that the timely intervention of security operatives saved what would have been a very ugly situation, stressing that the commander had also ordered an all-round patrol and surveillance by operatives of the task force.
Iweha stated that those arrested were being interrogated to ascertain their level of culpability in the incident, adding that those found innocent would be released.
“The procession by the women later turned violent as rival Muslim youths clashed along Bauchi Road as the Shi’ite members were proceeding to the Central Mosque and the commander has ordered a round-the-clock security surveillance and patrol and we would not want to take chances.
“He has also ordered a ban on all forms of rallies, protest or procession in Jos and such rallies must get the permission of the police upon application,” Iweha said.