John Shiklam in Kaduna There is palpable fear and anxiety among the residents of Kaduna metropolis, ahead of the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky which comes up today (Wednesday), at the state High Court. Messages of possible violence by Zakzaky’s followers were being circulated yesterday on […]
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John Shiklam in Kaduna

There is palpable fear and anxiety among the residents of Kaduna metropolis, ahead of the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky which comes up today (Wednesday), at the state High Court.

Messages of possible violence by Zakzaky’s followers were being circulated yesterday on WhatsApp,
advising residents to avoid some areas in the city, as the IMN members, also known as Shiite, were allegedly planning “a big attack” during the trial.

The message being circulated on WhatsApp platform reads: ‘Security alert, kindly avoid Magajin Garin (along Ahmadu Bello Way) and Kasuwa (Central Market) areas this Wednesday, July 11, the Zakzaky people are planning a big attack. Pass it on’.

But the spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa dismissed the message, saying it was false.
Musa maintained that the message was being peddled by the detractors of the IMN, including the security agencies.
He also said the Shiite have no plans to stage a protest in Kaduna today, but in Abuja.

“It is a false flag message, which we believe is being peddled by our detractors, the security agents inclusive.
“We have never staged any attack on anybody throughout our 40 year history. Even at the last sitting, it was the security agents that attacked us and disturb public peace.
“We urge the public to disregard that devilish message and go about their businesses. We are peaceful as we have been for many years. We have no plan for any protest in Kaduna. But there will be one in Abuja tomorrow “ he said.

During Zakzaky’s court appearance on June 21, his followers allegedly killed a policeman during a clash. Eleven of them were arrested by the police in connection with the killings.
Zakzaky has been in detention, alongside his wife, for over two years following a clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, in December 2015.

He was charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, punishable with death.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command has assured that adequate security measures had been put in place to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order during Zakzaky’s trial.
In a statement, the spokesman of the command, Aliyu Mukhtar reminded the members of the public to the ban on all forms of processions and demonstrations in the state.

He warned that the police would deal decisively with any person or group of persons, who deliberately attempt to violate the ban.

“In view of the court trial of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky on July 11, 2018, the peace loving and law abiding people of Kaduna State is to note that adequate security has been put in place for hitch-free court appearance. Therefore, the public is advised to remain calm and not to be apprehensive where they observe unusual number of security personnel in town,” he said.
The statement added that as part of the strategy to ensure a smooth process of the court trial, “there will be traffic diversion in the following areas: Independence Way, Bida road, and all roads leading to Ibrahim Taiwo road in the metropolis”.

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Source:THISDAYLIVE