Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Guards Brigade headquarters, in Abuja, said it had taken note of the daily protest of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (MIN) in the Federal Capital Territory and would not hesitate to deploy its troops should the situation gets out of control.
The Brigade, while noting that the group activities has not yet warranted the deployment of soldiers, however, said it was on standby and monitoring activities of the group.
This was even as the Brigade also assured residents of the FCT and the environs of their safety and urged them to go about their lawful duties.
Commander, Guards Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Umar Musa, gave the assurance in an interview with journalists at the closing ceremony of the brigades Corporal and below competition held at the Mambila barracks.
Gen. Musa said the Brigade, charged with the responsibilities of providing security for the President, Vice President and the FCT and its environs, had taken note of the daily protest by the Islamic group in the FCT, to demand the release of their leader who is facing some charges in court.
He said the group activities has not yet warranted the deployment of soldiers, saying most of their activities and movement were still within the ambit of the Nigerian police who have the constitutional role of protecting life and property of the populace.
He, however, warned that should their protest get out of the control of the police, the military would deploy at very short notice to curb the situation.
Gen. Musa also said officers and soldiers of the Brigade were on alert and watching activities of not just the Shiite movement but other criminal groups who may want disrupt the peace of the the FCT.
According to him, “the activities of the Islamic Movement Of Nigeria has being on the high particularly in the Federal Capital Territory on the high over the detention of their leader who is facing some charges proffered against him in court.
“But I want to assure the public that the Nigerian army and Guards Brigade in particular have been monitoring the situation closely.
“As it is now, most of the activities of the movement is within the ambit of the Nigerian police who have the constitutional role of protecting life and property of the populace.
“It has not yet reached the time where the military will be involved.
“But all same we have been monitoring and we are always on standby at short notice should the situation go out of hand of the Nigerian police.
“But I want to once again assure the public that their activities would not affect the security of the FCT,” he said.
For some time now, members of the Shiite group have been embarking of protest and clashing with the police.
Several police personnel deployed to curtail activities have been injured, operational vehicles belonging to the police damaged.
Similarly some innocent car owners have had their cars parked at their business premises damaged by members of the group who sometime turn violent.