With the memory of recent clashes between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (also known as Shiites) and the Nigerian military during processions of the sect in neighboring states, the Sokoto state government has banned the sect from processions within its boundaries.
History Lesson: In December 2015, during one of such processions, members of the sect clashed with the Nigerian army in Kaduna state which led to the Army killing hundreds of sect members including women and children. A similar incident occurred in November 2016 in Kano state, only that this time the clash was with policemen.
Why Sokoto government banned procession: According to the Attorney General of Sokoto state, Suleiman Usman (SAN) on Wednesday, the ban is important because:
- The government had received numerous complaints against the activities of the group in the state,
- There is a need to avert any breach of peace and forestall a breakdown of law and order
Quote: “As you are aware, we have received several complaints from the people on the activities of the Shiite members at the Sultan Abubakar mosque in Sokoto. So, we are calling on them to halt such activities and desist forthwith from carrying out their intended procession because of serious tension in the metropolis. The present administration will not fold its arms and allow these individuals cause breach of peace in the state,” he said.