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Shiites’ protest: Army begins sting operation in Abuja

The Guards Brigade of the Nigerian Army has begun sting operation in the Federal Capital Territory to stop violent protests by the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as the Shiites.

The operation would involve going after the perceived sponsors of the protests and also looking into how the protesters got their weapons and how many weapons were still in their possession.

The Shiites’ protests had turned bloody during the week, leading to two policemen sustaining serious injuries and many vehicles burnt, particularly within the National Assembly premises.

Sources at the Guards Brigade saud on Friday the army would not fold its arms and allow the Shiites overrun the FCT, adding that it was careful in applying “lethal force” on the protesters in the face of allegations of human right abuses.

A top army source said, “We know what to do. We have a sting operation in place and we are putting measures on the ground to contain the protests.

“The military has deployed in strategic areas and we are monitoring how the protesters got their weapons.”

The Guards Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen Umar Musa, had said last Sunday it had developed strategies to checkmate protests by the Shi’ites, noting that such outings were also worrisome to residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Musa added that the frequent activities of the Shiites were bringing discomfort to the FCT and must be adequately tackled.

He had spoken in Keffi, Nasarawa State, at the 177 Guards Battalion.

“The incessant protests by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria are becoming worrisome to Abuja residents; but the brigade and the Nigeria Police Force have put more strategies in place to avoid any protest from escalating into violence,” he had said.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.