By Emmanuel Aziken
The police on Tuesday morning affirmed that the ban on public processions is applicable to only members of the Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky led Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN.
The police clarification came in the light of enquiries by other Islamic groups wishing to make procession as part of the commemoration of Ashura.
A statement by the Force Police Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba on the issue asked commissioners of police across the country to ensure that non members of IMN were not in any way hindered.
The statement read thus:
Following the deluge of enquiries concerning the ban on procession on the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), it has become absolutely imperative to clarify that the ban on processions is applicable to members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria only.
Against this backdrop, Muslims marking the commemoration of “Ashura” throughout the country along with other Muslims across the world are free to carry out the annual “Ashura” procession. They should however do so within the confines of the law and guard against infiltration by unscrupulous elements who may want to take advantage of the event to cause disruption of public peace, order and security.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu,NPM,mni has directed all Commissioners of Police and their respective supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in Commands and Zones to give full effect to the above clarifications and ensure that non-IMN Muslims are not in any way restricted from exercising their freedom of religion, worship and peaceful assembly.
In the same vein, the IGP has enjoined members of the public to be calm and go about their lawful businesses as the Force is doing all within its capacity to ensure there is no breach of the peace, law and order anywhere in the country.