A joint police and thugs operation sent by the Kaduna state governor, Mr. Nasiru El-Rufai, yesterday violently disrupted a peaceful Maulud Procession in Kaduna and also Zaria attended by thousands of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and other lovers of the Prophet (S).

In Kaduna, thousands turned up for the celebration as has been the practice over the years. The procession started at the city center and as it progressed peacefully, the police and the thugs they came along with descended on people, chasing, beating, shooting and arresting. As at the time of compiling this report, it is not clear the extent of damage done by the hoodlums and the police.

A similar procession conducted in Zaria city was attacked in Zaria by police.

Observers and commentators have been criticising the government of Nasiru El-Rufai over the latest rounds of persecution as it becomes clearer that the Shiites are being denied any chance to practice their faith in whatever way. A bystander who witnessed the brutality in Zaria said, “the Federal Government declared a public holiday to mark Maulud. So why should these people be denied marking the day since the government gave the day off for whosoever wishes to mark it to do so?”

It was also unclear the number of casualties in Zaria, as the procession was terminated as the police was attacking.