Rumours of a planned attack by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during resumed trial of Ibrahim Zakzaky, IMN leader, have caused panic among residents of Kaduna state.
Zakzaky has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) for three years despite court orders for his release.
He was arrested in December 2015 after the Shi’ites and the Nigerian army clashed in Zaria axis of the state.
Ahead of the trial, messages of possible violence by Zakzaky’s followers are being circulated on WhatsApp, a social media platform
“Security alert, kindly avoid Magajin Garin (along Ahmadu Bello Way) and Kasuwa (Central Market) areas this Wednesday 11th, the Zakzaky people are planning a big attack. Pass it on,” one of the messages reads.
However, Ibrahim Musa, IMN spokesman, dismissed the messages as false.
He said the Shi’ite only planned to stage a protest in Abuja on Wednesday, and not in Kaduna.
“It is a false flag message which we believe is being peddled by our detractors, the security agents inclusive,” Musa said.
“We have never staged any attack on anybody throughout our 40 year history. Even at the last sitting, it was the security agents that attacked us and disturb public peace.
“We have no plan for any protest in Kaduna. But there will be one in Abuja tomorrow.”
In April, the state government filed fresh charges against Zakzaky.
During his trial in June, a policeman was stoned to death when Shi’ites and policemen clashed.
Members of the group had trooped out in large numbers to witness the the trial at the state high court but security personnel prevented the group from accessing the court complex.
Meanwhile, the state police command has announced a total ban on all processions ahead of the trial.