The Nigeria Police have claimed it acted in self defence from attacks by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria commonly referred to as Shi’ites in which nine of them were killed as well as a sergeant.
Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, defended the police officers, who clashed with members of the Shi’ite sect on Monday in Kano.
Speaking in Abuja to State House correspondents on Tuesday, the IGP said the group provoked the officers when it attack and killed the police officer.
He says the police were only trying to stop the group from blocking other road users but were attacked by the sect.
“As of early yesterday (Monday), we got information that they were trying to block Kano to Zaria road. They later assembled in large number and our officers were deployed in the place to ensure freedom of movement of ordinary Nigerians,” Idris said.
“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.”
According to him, policemen have the responsibility to ensure that no organisation or individual constitute themselves into a government and block roads and buildings saying that though the protesters have freedom of worship, the police boss said they could only worship inside mosques or churches and not on the main road.
“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.”
The IMN and security agencies have been having a running battle since December 2015 when the group blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Tukur Burutai.