Security Operatives in Yobe state have remained silent on the issue of relocation of the headquarters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN (Shi’ite) sect, from Zaria city to Faudiyya Centre in Potiskum local government of Yobe state, which houses the second largest supporters of the Shiekh Ibrahim El- Zazzaky.Since the clash between the Shi’ite group and military in Zaria, the supporters of the Islamic Movement in Potiskum have embarked on a weekly peaceful demonstration at the central mosque Potiskum which is said to be creating panic amongst residents.
Findings by Our Correspondent revealed that, efforts by some clerics to stop the activities of the Shi’ite group at the Central Mosque failed following resistance by the group under its new leadership.
It was gathered that after every Friday prayer, the group amongst them women and children gather around the Central mosque in Potiskum, where they lecture their followers before lining up for what is seen as peaceful demonstration, carrying placard with photograph of their leader in custody ( Sheikh Ibrahim El-zazzaky).
A policeman who spoke on condition of anonymity said, ” We are not comfortable with the seeming peaceful demonstration near our Area Command office. We know this group and their antecedents. They have been known for violence and fanaticism as such, their protest every Friday calls for concern, even as residents have been expressing fears that if not checked, the group may turn violent and cause loss of lives.”
It could be recalled that former leader of the group, Malam Mustapha Nasidi was killed during the Shi’ite/Military clash in Zaria following which the group appointed a replacement, which residents of Potiskum town are not too comfortable with, due to his introduction of periodic processions in the name of ‘Free El-Zazzaky’.
Our correspondent, who has been speaking with residents of Potiskum on the move by the Shi’ite group to relocate their Headquarters to Potiskum also made several attempts to have official response from the Police, but the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO Toyin Gbagedesin could not answer several calls put across to him.