There was pandemonium at the Central Market in Kaduna on Friday when security agents shot severally in an attempt to disperse members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) who were protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
The police got wind of the protest and immediately mobilised to Sheikh Gumi axis of the Kaduna Central Market to stop the protesters.
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It was gathered that when the IMN members sighted the police who had cordoned off the area, they immediately aborted their protest.
A witness, Halima Ibrahim, said she was at the market when she heard shots being fired.
“I immediately took cover when I heard the shots and the whole incident caused pandemonium in the market. Later, I was able to muster courage and leave my car where I was waiting to hear what happened. I was told that policemen came to the market to pick some members of the IMN group and they fired some shot to scare them.
“A customer of mine, Mohammed Yunusa, told me that on Wednesday, some policemen were passing the market in their vehicle on routine duty when IMN members attacked them, they vandalised the vehicle and the occupants had to run for their lives.”
However, according to a member of IMN, Abdullah Usman, “We usually come out every two weeks in protest to remind Nigerians that our leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife are still in being held since 2015. It seems the police got an intelligence report that we will come out to protest because they beat us to our game.
“When we saw that policemen had been deployed to the area of the protest, we decided to suspend the protest and I think in order to scare us, some policemen moved into the market and fired some shots into the air.
“We then moved to Dan Mani Junction along the Nnamdi Azikiwe road, to continue with our protest, but the police had also been deployed there and in the end we aborted the whole protest in order to avoid bloodshed.”
When contacted, the police Public Relations Officer, ASP Muhammad Jalige said he would contact the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area and get back to our correspondent.
He did not, however, at the time of filing this report.