Molly Kilete, Abuja
Members of the Shiite group, yesterday, took over the streets of Abuja to press home their demand for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zazaky, who has been in custody since 2015.
In carrying out their peaceful protest, they occupied the road leading to the National Assembly.
The group had two days ago stormed the National Stadium, Abuja, with food stuffs and cooking utensils, but they were barred from gaining access into the premises by private security guards in charge of the stadium.
In furtherance of their agitation, yesterday, they turned out in their thousands to press for the release of their leader thereby causing heavy traffic gridlock. As a result, motorists and other road users had to look for alternative routes to get to their destinations.
Even men of the FCT police command drafted to maintain peace were overwhelmed by the huge crowd and were therefore cautious so as not to allow the situation get out of hand. The group specifically barricaded the Abuja express road from Kubwa and the road leading to the National Mosque, thus 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 and water, among other items, which they sold openly to the public.
Efforts to get the FCT police spokesman to speak on the matter proved abortive, as he refused to pick his call or respond to a text message sent to his mobile telephone.