We’re Ready To Sacrifice Our Lives – Shi’ites Tell Nigerian Police Ahead Of Their Nationwide Ashura Procession

The Nigeria Police Force and members of the proscribed Islamic
Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites, may clash at the group’s
upcoming Ashura procession on Tuesday, September 10th. 

The Ashura procession, also called the Day of Ashura, is the tenth
day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. It is observed
annually by Shi’ite Muslims worldwide to commemorate the death of
Husayn ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq.  

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Despite the fact that the Shi’ites group has been proscribed, it has
dared the police and insisted it would observe the Ashura procession on
Tuesday. However, the Nigeria Police Force had also dared the group to
march and see what they (the police) would do. The development came amid
a recent directive from the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed
Adamu, for the arrest of all identified Shi’ite leaders across the
country.  

The IGP also directed a team of special police to dismantle the IMN
structures in the country, vowing the police would not allow the Shi’ite
group to violate its proscription by the court. However, a highly
placed member of the Shi’ite group told Punch that its members would
troop out from “cities and villages” in the 19 northern states and Abuja
to mark its annual procession in memory of Imam Husayn (the third imam
of Islam revered by Shi’ites)  

The source said IMN members had vowed it would observe its annual
Ashura procession. Confirming the move, the President, Media Forum of
IMN, Ibrahim Musa, said some Shi’ites had already commenced the mourning
procession in various cities, noting that no arrest had been reported
so far.  

He also said the IMN leaders and members had no plans to leave
Nigeria or seek asylum in any country, noting that their leader, Ibrahim
El-Zakzaky, had demonstrated love for Nigeria. Musa, who doubles as the
Shi’ite spokesperson, stated;

“To date, there have been no arrests since we started the Ashura
mourning procession in various cities and villages. We will join our
Shia brothers worldwide in commemorating the killing of the Prophet’s
grandson, Imam Husayn on the tenth of Muharram (Tuesday).

“Our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has demonstrated our love for our
country. We would rather die here than leave since we are not criminals.
Our procession will hold on Tuesday in Abuja and major cities in the
North, Insha Allah.”

He stated the procession would be peaceful and hitch-free.  When
asked what they would do if confronted by the police, Musa said;

“Ours is a peaceful religious procession, that is why our women and
children join us. So, if there is any confrontation, it is the
government that may cause it, not us. We are ready to sacrifice our
lives just as Imam Husayn did in Karbala. We are not going to war, we
are going on a mourning procession which is a universal event on that
day.”

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