The Islamic Movement of Nigeria [IMN] said on Wednesday that security forces killed 42 of its members during two days of violent crackdowns on protests in Abuja.
IMN members, also known as Shiites, had stormed FCT streets to protest the continued incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in custody since his arrest in 2015.
Security forces opened fire with live ammunition on the protesters.
The IMN raised its death toll on Wednesday from the two previous days’ violence to 42 from an earlier figure of 25. The toll included seven people who died of injuries received on Tuesday and 35 killed the previous day, said Ibrahim Musa, an IMN spokesman.
On Wednesday evening, 20 bodies lay shrouded in white, awaiting burial in the town of Mararaba.
“I, as a Shi’ite today, I’m carrying my death certificate,” said Muhammed Ibrahim Gamawa, an IMN youth leader, at the burial site.
“Under Buhari’s government any Shia in Nigeria is under threat and can be gunned down any day, any time, any minute,” he said, referring to Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari.
“We are not safe, we are an endangered species in Nigeria.”
A few hours earlier, in a bustling commercial area of Abuja, dozens of IMN members staged a short march. Security forces were absent.
“We are ready to die for our Zakzaky!” and “Free Sheikh Zakzaky!” the marchers chanted.
“Death to Buhari! Death to America! Death to U.K!” they also cried.
BREAKING: It is safer to worship at home- FG
The Federal Government has said it is safer to worship at home.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this on Tuesday during a briefing in Abuja.
He said, “There is no doubt that COVID-19 is still around. There is no doubt that it is safer to stay at home and there is no doubt that it safer for you to worship at home.”
COVID-19: Lagos working to protect pupils when FG reopens schools – Education Commissioner
The Lagos State Government has begun work on putting measures to protect pupils when the Federal Government reopen school nationwide.
WuzupNigeria reports that the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari [retd], had announced the closure of schools to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the annual ministerial press briefing of the state Ministry of Education on Tuesday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, said although it was the FG that would decide when the schools, the state was putting in place measures to protect the pupils when the schools reopen.
“It is the Federal Government that will open the schools as they were the ones that closed the schools. Recall that the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 on Monday said schools remain closed.
“I can’t give you a date when schools will resume in Lagos, but we are working with development partners, ministries of Education across the country to come up with series of protocols on how we will be able to manage when we open schools.
“So, we are working behind the scene, we have a paper on the protocols and we will start to share as the paper is finally approved in a few days.
“There must be protocols that will address schools with large gatherings.
“There are many things we are thinking of, we are thinking about pupils not coming to school every day so that we will be able to spread the children across the whole school.
“Pupils don’t have to be in their class to learn, they can learn in a room with tables and chairs.”
Adefisayo added that a total of 3000 primary and secondary school teachers were recently absorbed into the teaching workforce of the Lagos State in a bid to boost the capacity of the existing workforce thereby providing quality education.
The Commissioner also pointed out that the Ministry had embarked on the construction and upgrading of Public Schools’ infrastructure across the state with the completion of six blocks of 92 classrooms in primary schools and three blocks of 54 classrooms in secondary schools in the state.
Expedite action to bring Omozuwa’s killers to justice, group tasks Police
Girl Child Africa, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Tuesday, urged the Police to intensify efforts to ensure that killers of Miss Uwaila Omozuwa were brought to justice.
Founder of Girl Child Africa, Bukky Shonibare made the call in a telephone interview with the Newsmen
Omozuwa, a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) was gruesomely raped and murdered in a church in Edo, where she had apparently gone to study ahead of the resumption of academic activities.
This elicited protests by various groups and individuals, demanding the arrest and prosecution of her murderer (s) who was/ were still at large.
While condemning the rape and murder of the 100 level female microbiology student of the UNIBEN, Shonibare emphasized the need for police to work assiduously to establish the facts surrounding Omozuwa’s death.
The human rights activist also stressed the need to implement laws that protected the lives and rights of citizens from abuse, particularly women.
According to her, the way we handle Omozuwa’s matter will serve as a deterrent to others and go a long way in stopping rape in the country.
“This brings to the fact that we have laws that protect the lives and rights of citizens from abuse.
“If those laws exist as letters and are not implemented, then every person who wants to indulge in sexual abuse will have his or her way.
“In February 2019, Edo government signed the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill which stipulates appropriate punishments for sexual abuse.
“Same was replicated in some states but unfortunately the laws are not being implemented.
“Since the passage of this law, we have not had instances where they are used to serve as a deterrent to those who may want to indulge in such ugly practice,’’ Shonibare said.
She, however, decried unwholesome practices in the judiciary, saying that they contributed to slowing down quick dispensation of justice in the country.
She said “even when you take such cases to the courts, the corruption is discouraging and will not allow victims to get justice.
“We will continue to have such cases of abuse if the laws are not implemented.
“Therefore, the way we follow Uwa’s case will go a long way in stopping sexual abuse in Nigeria,’’ Shonibare said.
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