Why Police Opened Fire On Shiites- IG

The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has explained why his officers opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria during a clash in Kano on Monday.

The IGP said his officers did so because members of the movement, also known as Shiites, were armed to the teeth, killing policemen.

The police chief was speaking to State House journalists in Tuesday shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem and Appeal Fund.

The IGP was responding to a question on a popular belief that in quelling riot, Nigerians should not be killed unnecessarily.

He stated: “I agree with what you said. But when you have Nigerians armed to the teeth, killing police officers, I don’t think it happens anywhere. I think as Nigerians, we have to appreciate, when you appreciate a dangerous situation, and to be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.”

Ibrahim said police officers have the responsibility of ensuring law and order as well as maintaining sanity in areas where people “take over the whole country.”

He said early Monday morning, the Force got wind of the plan by Shiite members to block the Kano-Zaria Road and deployed its officers to ensure free movement of ordinary Nigerians.

“Obviously, from time to time, we have been experiencing upheavals from this set of people. As police officers, we have responsibility to ensure there is law and order, and when you have people taking over the whole country, dominating streets and buildings, we have to come in to maintain sanity in those areas.

“As of early yesterday (Monday), we got information that they were trying to block the Kano-Zaria Road. They later assembled in large numbers and our officers were deployed to the place to ensure freedom of movement of ordinary Nigerians. They attacked our officers, killed one of our officers, one has sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road. And that was what our officers did,” he said.

The IGP said he agreed with those who said the Shiites, if not checked, could degenerate into insurgents like Boko Haram.

“Whether now or whenever, as police officers, we have a responsiblity to ensure there is law and order in any part of this country and to ensure that no organisations or individuals constitute themselves into a government, block passages and buildings,” he stated.

On the noting that there is freedom of movement in this country, Ibrahim maintained: “What happens is that there is nothing like freedom there. When you worship, you go to mosques or churches. Blocking highways and passages doesn’t constitute part of worship

“My message to Nigerians is that all of us should be our brother’s keepers.  We should appreciate the feeling of others that where your right ends, another person’s right begins. Every Nigerian has a right that must be protected. We should ensure that we protect the rights of every individual: right of freedom, right of association and right of movement.”

Credit: dailytrust

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