Shiite Protests Have Become Anything But Civil – Adesina

Channels Television  
Updated July 23, 2019


Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has said protests by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), over the continued detention of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, have become anything but civil.

Mr Adesina, who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, said this while reacting to the killing of several persons following the Shiite protest on Monday.

According to him, there is a case coming up on July 29 where El-Zakzaky would be seeking bail to go abroad for medical attention and the Shiites could have been patient for the decision of the court, rather than resorting to violence.

He further stated that the police only responded with live ammunition because the protesters were not being civil.

“The protests had become anything but civil. You saw what happened at the National Assembly on July 9… they stormed that place, set so many cars ablaze, a policeman was killed, so it was anything but civil,” he said.

“The police said all protests in Abuja had been restricted to the Unity Fountain so if they wanted a civil, peaceful protest, they would do it at the prescribed place, granted that under democracy, you have the right to protest.

“Democracy recognises civil protest and one thing you would agree to is that till now, the police had used minimum force because they could have started using those live rounds from day one because this has persisted for months”.

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Speaking further, he denied reports that the government is considering proscribing the group.

“No no no… If government is considering it, who told them, who confirmed it to them. Someone may have sat in the comfort of his living room and concocted that story,” he said when asked to confirm.

When asked why the IMN leader has remained in detention despite a court order for his release in 2016, Mr Adesina said it is a legal matter.

“I know that the immediate past AGF in whose purview it was to make pronouncements on that, addressed the issue.

“If bail is granted and another case subsists or there is an immediate filing of appeal, you have to wait till it is dispensed with. So, that is a legal matter which is outside my purview but as a layman, (an unlearned man as lawyers would call us), we know that until all cases are dispensed with, you don’t say that it has been concluded,” Mr Adesina explained.