Why we killed Shi’ites – IGP
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has adduced reasons for the killing of some Shi’íte members during a procession in Kano on Monday.
A policeman also died during the face-off.
Idris, who spoke with State House correspondents, said the police had no choice than to restore law and order that was about breaking down during the procession by the Shiites.
Idris, who spoke with State House correspondents at the end of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem launch held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the Shiites, who are members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria blocked the highway, refusing to allow other Nigerians access to the road.
According to him, the officers had no alternative than to strive to bring back sanity in the area.
Though he agreed that there could be other non-lethal ways of checkmating the Shiite members, Idris said the IMN members were armed with guns.
He said: “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 a dangerous situation and be sympathetic with the Police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.
“Obviously, from time to time, we have been experiencing upheavals from this set of people.
“As Police officers, we have a 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 them and another sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, the Police have a responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road.
“And that was what our officers did.
“What happened 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 brothers’ 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 we protect the rights of every individual – right of freedom, right of association and right of movement.”