*3,000 protesters on rampage
* DCP, Channels TV reporter, others killed, many injured, 54 arrested
*IGP briefs Buhari on violence, says enough is enough
OBIORA IFOH and SUNDAY ODE, with agency report
No fewer than 3,000 foot soldiers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN( popularly called Shi,iite Muslims protesting the continued incarceration of their leader El-Zakzaky brought Abuja, the nation’s capital on its knees as the group’s protest turned violent.
Daily Champion gathered that business and commercial activities within and outside the Abuja municipal were frozen for greater Part of yesterday as most People deserted the streets for fear of being cut in the web of the violence which the Police said got bloody with no fewer than three people killed. Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, and a Channels TV reporter, were among those killed in the orgy of violence.
Police said 54 suspects have been taken into custody and will soon be charged to court for disruption of public peace.
Consequent of the violence, security was beefed up at the Force headquarters to prevent reprisal attacks over the arrest of scores of the protesters who are demanding the release of the spiritual sect leader, Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky.
There were indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may have summoned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu., on Monday over the violent protest by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Abuja.
The Shiites have been l protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky by the Federal Government.
However, speaking to State House correspondents after meeting the president, the IGP said the president charged the Force to provide security for the residents of Abuja and the whole country.
He said “We came this morning to brief Mr. President on the security situation in the country, especially the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Just to give him an update of what is happening in the country vis a vis their activities.
“Specifically we briefed him of the incessant act coming out of this group of people, protesting here and there. We briefed him on the fact that we have been able to curtail their excesses and to let him understand that everything is under control.
On the President’s reaction, the IGP said, “the president asked us to make sure we provide security for every citizen of this country and not to leave any space that some group of people will create breakdown of law and order. So, the charge by Mr. President is that we must provide security for every Nigerian.
Recall that the Presidency last week had appealed to El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
According to a statement by the spokesman of the president, Garba Shehu said, the issue of El-ZakZaky is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his on-going trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.
Shehu said it was wrong to be in court and resort to violence at the same time in order to get justice for anybody accused.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Frank Mba confirming the killing of DCP Umar, on Monday, the police hierarchy said: “Another violent protest by members of the El-Zazakky group involving over three thousand (3000) of its followers took place today, 22nd July, 2019 at about 12:30pm within the Central Business District of Abuja.
“The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty. In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A. K. Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters.
“The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment. Also, two (2) Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
“The violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two vehicles.
“Meanwhile, the Police have arrested fifty-four (54) suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible.
“The IGP, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemns the incident and warns that Enough-is-Enough as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society”.
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