Kaduna police intervened in a pro-Palestine demonstration organized by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), commonly known as Shiite. The protestors expressed solidarity with Gaza, currently under Israeli airstrikes since October 7,Daily Trust reports.
Initiating their march from the Kaduna State office of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), the IMN members proceeded along Muhammadu Buhari Way to submit a letter at the National Human Rights Commission. Shortly after the protest began, Nigerian police deployed teargas canisters and fired shots into the air to disperse the demonstrators.
Aliyu Umar Tirmizi, representing the protesters, conveyed their condemnation of the alleged 75-year Israeli occupation, citing genocide, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid against unarmed civilians, including men, women, and children. Tirmizi called on global sympathizers to raise their voices in support of Palestinians and condemn Israel, concluding with a wish for peace and blessings.
During the demonstration, protesters displayed placards and simulated dead babies wrapped in white cloth with bloodstains, symbolizing children affected by the Israel/Palestine conflict. Chants of “Death to Israel, we support Palestine” echoed through the demonstration.
Contrarily, the Kaduna State Police Command asserted that IMN members, led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, caused the death of one person named Aliyu during the protest. According to ASP Mansur Hassan, the IMN allegedly initiated gunfire at the police attempting to disperse the “illegal” gathering, resulting in the death of a civilian. Denying allegations of police involvement in the deaths of two IMN members, Hassan emphasized the need to disperse the protest due to IMN’s proscription in Kaduna State, stating that the demonstrators obstructed roads and attacked innocent civilians.