One person has reportedly died following a clash between Shiite members and rival Muslim youths in Jos, the Plateau state capital.
The Punch reports that the incident occurred when Shiite members were protesting the continued detention of their leader El-Zakzaky, his wife and some other members.
Recall that El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the group had been arrested after they clashed with the army on December 12 in Zaria and are still in detention.
Hundreds of Shiite women, clad in all black, had staged a protest in Jos on Saturday, January 9, demanding the release of their leader, his wife and other members of the movement that were arrested for proper medical attention.
The protesters also asked for the corpses of their members who were allegedly killed by the soldiers to be released to them for proper burial according to Islamic tradition.
Confirming the incident, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, the media and communications officer of the Special Task Force, also known as ‘Operation Safe Haven’, said many members of the movement were arrested when the otherwise peaceful procession turned violent at Bauchi road, leading to the death of one person.
“The procession by the women later turned violent as rival Muslim youths clashed along Bauchi road as the Shiite members were proceeding to the Central Mosque.”
Iweha explained that those that were arrested were being interrogated to ascertain their level of culpability in the incident and those found innocent would be released.
He said the incident had created tension around Bauchi road, Rikkos, Angwan Rogo, Dilimi, Nasarawa Gwom and many other Hausa dominated areas, leading to a clash between some rival Muslim sects.
According to him, the timely intervention of security operatives prevented what would have been an ugly situation.
Iweha noted that the commander of the task force, Maj. Gen. Tagbo Udeh had ordered all-round patrol and surveillance by operatives of the task force.
He was also said to have ordered a ban on all forms of processions and rallies in the state, adding that such rallies or procession must get the tacit permission of the police.
Shiite members have been protesting for the release of their leader ever since his arrest. They asked federal government to tell Nigerians the whereabout of their leader, as they fear about his health and that of other faithfuls detained.
Five days ago, a massive protest was carried out by members of the movement in Gashua, Bade local government area in Yobe state to demand the immediate release of their leader.