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Shiite Clash:FCT residents urge dialogue to end crisis

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Residence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have expressed dismay with the clashes between the Shiites Islamic Movement of Nigeria and security operatives, over the continued detention of the sect’s leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat had been held in detention for four years in spite of a court ruling ordering their release.

Some affected residents who spoke to NAN in separate interviews on Wednesday in Abuja, called for dialogue between the Federal Government and members of the Sect.

Mr Kingsley Okafor a Taxi Driver who operates the Banex route, venue of one of the clashes, expressed surprise that the group’s protests which before now were peaceful had turned violent.

“What happened here yesterday is different from what we had seen in the past.

“Because, since this people started their demonstrations for over a year now, we related well with them, we know them, we carry them from Wuse to their destinations and back.

“Yesterday we thought it was the normal routine, I was about to load my vehicle when we started hearing gunshots and teargas’ and people started running.

“We all started running to safety, people were running in various directions for dear life, then the police took over and it grounded our business.’’

He described the incident as unfortunate adding that it was not too late for government to do the needful for peace to reign.

Also, a petty trader Adaku Iheanacho, described the incident as terrible, noting that it grounded commercial activities resulting in losses as people ran for their lives.

Mr John Asishana, a telecom business dealer, regretted that the incident was happening in the federal capital territory which was home to the diplomatic communities.

“We were here doing our legitimate businesses when we heard shouts and members of the Shiite movement started throwing stones, this is the FCT, we need security, the Federal Government should do something fast before it is too late.’’

Solomon Ishaku a worker in the Ministry of Education in the Federal Secretariat, another venue of such clashes said he heard gunshots while in his office and ran out to see lots of people running around.

Ishaku urged the Federal Government to put an end to the unrest for the security of lives and properties.

Similarly, Mr Victor Jaja another Civil Servant urged government to resolve the issue through dialogue describing it as worrisome.

“Lives are being lost and it’s a worrisome issue, we do not need to lose any more lives, we are all Nigerians and the country belongs to all of us, let us all live peacefully.

Edited by Lydia Beshel

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