Amid alerts from security operatives and numerous concerns on the social media, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (also known as Shiites) is proceeding with the yearly Shi’a religious mourning procession of Ashura today in major cities of the country.

In a statement, the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa, said: “Tomorrow’s (today) Ashura mourning procession is not a threat to peace contrary to the widespread belief.

“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria vehemently discountenances some alarmist messages that have gone viral on the social media insinuating that the Shi’a annual religious mourning procession, popularly known as Ashura, will be violent in Abuja and other cities across the nation, with some saying people should stay indoors to avoid clashes with the mourners.”

He continued: “Even though the threat to spill our blood on Ashura by the powers that be will not deter us from our religious obligation, we will, however, like to assure the public and well-meaning Nigerians that our mission is to enlighten citizens on the injustice meted to the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husain (AS), in the year 61AH and also to remind the public of the oppression suffered by Sheikh El-Zakzaky since December 2015, hence the demand for his unconditional release along with hundreds of others still languishing in jail.”

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