The Nigerian military Wednesday warned members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) protesting against the detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, not to disturb the peace and security of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Commander, Guards Brigade, Brig-Gen. Umar Musa, while fielding questions from journalists at the closing ceremony of the Brigades Corporal and below competition in Mambila Barracks, Abuja, said soldiers would be deployed should the Shiites cross the line and move beyond what the police can handle.
Musa however, noted that the Islamic sect’s activities were within the law and yet to warrant the deployment of soldiers.
He further warned that troops were on standby, monitoring activities of the group in the nation’s capital and would be deployed if their protest gets out of control.
He assured residents to go about their lawful duties as the situation was still at a manageable level that did not require military intervention.
The IMN had of protest against the detention of their leader, clashing with police personnel deployed to maintain peace.
Musa said most of the activities of the movement were still within the ambit of the Nigerian police who have the constitutional role of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.
He said: “I want to assure the public that the Nigerian army and Guards Brigade in particular have been monitoring the situation closely.
“As it is now, most of the activities of the movement are within the ambit of the Nigerian police who have the constitutional role of protecting lives and property of the populace.”
“It has not yet reached the time where the military will be involved. But all the same we have been monitoring and we are always on standby at short notice should the situation go out of hand of the Nigerian police.”