Molly Kilete, Abuja
Members of the Shi’ite group, on Saturday, took over the streets of Abuja to demand for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, being held in custody since 2015.
The group which had been embarking on peaceful protest in the Federal Capital Territory Capital (FCT) since 2017, and holding their sit-outs at the popular Unity Fountain, on Saturday, occupied the roads leading to the National Assembly to carry out their protest.
Only two days ago, the group took over the entrance of the National Stadium, Abuja, with food stuffs and cooking utensils but were barred from having access into the premises by private security guards guarding the stadium.
However, their protest took a new dimension, on Saturday, when they turned out in their thousands and took over the streets of Abuja to continue in their protest.
Their presence automatically caused heavy traffic gridlock as motorists and other road users had to look for alternative routes to get to their locations.
Even men of the FCT, police command drafted to maintain the peace were overwhelmed by the huge crowd as they threaded softly so as not to let the situation get out of hand.
The group specifically barricaded the Abuja express road from Kubwa and the road leading to the National Mosque preventing anyone, including security agents, from having a smooth passage.
The members also turned the entire area into a mini market of sort as they stormed the area with goods, food stuff, drinks, water, among other items, which they sold openly to the public.
Efforts to get the FCT police spokesman to speak on what the police was doing to disperse the crowd proved abortive as he refused to pick his call nor respond to a text message sent to his mobile telephone.
As at the time of filling this report the group was still occupying the area with cars, banners, posters and chanting war songs.
It was not clear weather or not the military may be called in to disperse the crowd.