President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the protests by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise knows as Shi’ites, warning them not to test the patience of his government.
The President handed down the warning on Tuesday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, adding that it might be forced to act with maximum force to defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians.
Reacting to the killing of Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Usman Umar and National Youth Service Corps member, Precious Owolabi, during Monday’s protest by the sect, President Buhari called on any group carrying out violent protests to stop now, else the government would take decisive actions against them.
“Let nobody or group doubt or test our will to act in the higher interest of the majority of our citizens”, the statement qouted the President as saying.
According to the statement, President Buhari said he was deeply touched by the death of Umar and Owolabi as he condoled with their families and the management of Channels TV, where the corps member was attached to.
Buhari also described the two as “law-abiding, hard-working and vibrant Nigerians with a promising future.”
Members of the Islamic Movement has sustained protests against the continued incarceration of their spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
The duo have been in custody since a violent encounter between members of the sect and a convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in December 2015.
The violent encounter left scores of Shi’ites dead.
Meanwhile, IMN members continued their protest in Tuesday in Abuja, making the Police to launch tear gas canisters and fired gunshots to disperse members of the protesters.
Aside the death of Umar and Owolabi who was reporting for Channels, two Shi’ites were allegedly killed while two Assistant Superintendent of Police and others got injured.