The Nigeria Police Force yesterday beefed up security in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) so as prevent a major procession by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
The development made motorists plying the Abuja-Keffi Expressway to be stranded as a result of traffic jams on the road.
Most especially those exiting Abuja and heading towards Karu, Nyanya and travelers going towards Nasarawa State.
Armed security men barricaded the road to prevent breakdown of law and order.
Commenting, the FCT Police Command spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh, confirmed the incident but said the IMN members did not enter the FCT.
“They did not enter FCT. They stopped at the Orange market and turned back. The Commissioner of Police deployed some officers, but since they did not come into FCT there was no crisis,” she said.
According to a statement by a representative of Sheikh Zakzaky’s followers, in Sokoto State, Sheikh Sidi Munir, the procession is commemorated annually by the Islamic movement, following an Arbaeen Symbolic trek by millions of people from across the country.
Sidi Munir who led the procession explained: “Though we started with few people and confined ourselves to a particular place and recited some supplication. We thank Allah now we trek in millions, an indication that people are gradually beginning to realize the lofty position of Imam Husain (AS) in Islam.”
According to him, the purpose of the symbolic trek is to recall and experience the trial and tribulation faced by the Household of the Holy Prophet (AS), chained and dragged in scorching desert, barefoot from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain 61 years after Hijra.
“It was a period of anger and anguish at the perpetrators of injustice not just in the plain of Karbala but the world over. Today, the general public have witnessed how the Arbaeen trek like those before ended without any attempt to curb the right of safe passage to other road users. No panic was created by our Arbaeen trek. Love for Imam Husain (AS) is not the exclusive right of Muslims only,” he said.
“Because of the gruesome attack on the Imam at Karbala, the fortieth day after is commemorated by and for all those who love justice and fight against oppression in all ages, including ourselves. That is why we always welcome our brothers and sisters whom; of their own free will, trekked with us today,” he added.