Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shi’ites, on Tuesday invaded the National Assembly and shot two policemen. The Shi'ites
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shi’ites, on Tuesday invaded the National Assembly and shot two policemen. The Shi’ites who were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, that had been in detention since December, 2015, also attacked six other policemen at the National Assembly with stones and clubs.
The Shi’ite members overpowered the policemen at the gate of the National Assembly, collected one of their guns and shot the two security operatives. They entered the main entrance popularly known as MOPOL gate and vandalised the gate house. They also burnt three vehicles and destroyed many others. The sect unleashed terror on security operatives when tear-gas canisters were thrown to disperse them. There were fears among the National Assembly staff on Tuesday that one of the policemen, who were shot, had died.
But the Federal Capital Territory Police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said no policeman died during the clash with the IMN members. He also denied that the IMN members seized a gun from a policeman. He said, “We don’t have any casualty, no policeman died. Why would we hide such a thing? There was no casualty. No police gun is missing, we have no record that the Shiite members snatched guns from our men.”
During the protest by the Shiites, there was pandemonium at the National Assembly as its gates were closed. Staff and visitors ran for dear lives during the clash between the sect and the police. Visitors to the federal parliament were barred from entering the premises. Once the information filtered into the House of Representatives, which was still in plenary as of the time of the attack, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, called for adjournment of the session.
While the National Assembly Clinic confirmed that seven persons were injured, most of whom were security men, a security source disclosed that the Divisional Police Officer, National Assembly Division, Mr Umar Sambo, had gunshot, knife cut and stone injuries.The Director of Medical Services, National Assembly, Dr Bashir Hamza, confirmed that seven victims were taken to the clinic, most of whom he said were policemen.
The Senate did not suspend plenary while the pandemonium lasted
Meanwhile, 40 members of the sect have been arrested while the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered a 24-hour police surveillance in the FCT and its environs. Similarly, the Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors- General of Police in states contiguous to the FCT were also placed on the alert to ensure maximum security in their respective Areas of responsibility to avert any possible breach of public safety and security.