First Word on SB

First Word on SB

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FW: Nigerian Army uses President Trump's words to justify killing protesters

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha is trying to figure out how to tell as many impact stories as possible in different forms.

This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.

The past week saw at least 3 clashes between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army. Between October 27th and 30th, protesters from the Shia religious organisation, led by Ibrahim Zakzaky, encountered security operatives in Abuja and the neighbouring state, Nasarawa.

During these encounters, the security services killed at least 40 IMN members. The military, despite video evidence, claims that only 6 people were killed in self-defence. The group members were participating in an annual trek to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad in Islamic doctrine.

The march also involved the Shiites calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in prison since 2015. Notwithstanding orders from courts of competent jurisdictions calling for his release, the Nigerian government has kept him in custody.  


Deja Vu

It is not the first time security operatives have gunned down members of the Shia religious organisation. In 2015, the Nigerian army killed over 100 members of the organisation in Zaria, Kaduna State. The group in their usual march had blocked the road and cars, including the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai.

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