Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ites on Tuesday observed their annual Ashura procession in Potiskum, Yobe State.
Potiskum is one of the strongholds of the Shiites in the north apart from Kaduna, which is the headquarters of the movement.
Newsmen, who monitored the situation, observed that the procession, which was led by the leader of the group in Potiskum Malam Ibrahim Lawan started at Misau road at Yaro Damboa junction through other streets in Potiskum and terminated at Ari-Kime junction where the Shiites dispersed to their homes.
A huge crowd of followers, including women and children, were sighted during the procession which was carried out without any breach of law and order.
No incident of violence was recorded during the procession as the security came after the procession was already winded up.
The spokesman of the group in Potiskum Ibraheem El–Tafseer in told newsmen the procession in the state was successful.
Despite the orders of the Inspector General of police against their procession, Ibraheem said they would have still come out even if all of them were killed.
His words: “We did our procession successfully in Potiskum. We started around 7.15am. We followed the streets with multitude of followers, brothers and sisters and our children wearing black shirts with our flag with the inscription – Labbayaka Ya Hussain, meaning Husain, we sacrifice our lives for you. We came to Ari-Kime junction and close it there.
“After we closed the procession, soldiers came with three vehicles and started following our followers to disperse them but they did not catch anyone.
“They did not come during our procession. Before they came, we had already finished it so they didn’t catch anyone because all the followers went back to their home.
“I am sure they came either to beat or catch us or to disperse us because they came with their armored tanker vehicles.
“We are aware of what the Inspector General of Police said but you can’t stop us from carrying out this procession.
“We must come out to observe it because this is what we have been doing for over 25 years in Potiskum and through Nigeria and in fact the whole world because it marked the day the grandson of the prophet Imam Husain was killed. So we have to come out even if they kill us all.”
The Police Public Relation Office Yobe State, ASP Abdulmalik Abdulhafiz said all the Police Area Commands in the State were calm and the situation was under close monitoring.
He called on all law- abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses and report any suspicious movement around them to the police and other security agents.