By Evelyn Okakwu
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have vowed to continue their protest within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday, despite the killing of its members by soldiers on Saturday.
The group began an annual arbaeen trek across parts of the country on Thursday, but clashed with the Army in Zuba, Abuja on Saturday.
While the army claims three Shiite members were killed, a spokesperson for the group in Abuja, Abdullahi Musa said the figure “is twice what the Nigerian army has confirmed”.
“Six of our members were killed by the army on Saturday. I can confirm that. They even planned doing the same thing to us today, but the place where they set their road block; we didn’t reach it,” Mr Musa said.
“The names of our bothers killed by Army at Zuba on Saturday are: Abdu-aziz Dahiru Maigana Zariya, Mika’il Shuaibu Katina, Rabiu Malumfashi, Sa’idu Khalid Lagos, Abu-Dajjana Ibrahim Manzo Suleja and Ukasha Isa Madlla.
“We plan to continue tomorrow. Although we heard that they are prepared to kill us, at will, but if they like, let them shoot, we will continue,” Mr Musa told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday evening.
The group was outlawed by the government after a clash with the army led to over 300 of its members being killed in 2015.
A leader of the group Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in prison since December, 2015, over the issue.
Although a Federal High Court ordered Mr El-Zazaky’s release, the Nigerian government appealed the ruling and has filed murder charges against, Mr El-Zakzaky.
The group has consistently demanded the release of the prominent cleric through street protests. This has led to violent clashes in the Federal Capital Territory and parts of the north.