There was tension in Bauchi State as many scampered to safety when the Nigeria Police Force in the state clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shi’ites.
The incident was said to have occurred about 10am on Tuesday at the Central Market Roundabout and Tashan Babiye area of Bauchi, the state capital.
The Police reportedly fired teargas and gunshots to disperse the protesters causing people to scamper to safety.
Most shops in the popular Central Market were shut as traders immediately closed their shops and ran for their lives.
Although there has not been any detail of deaths from the incident, eyewitnesses say that several people were injured.
An eyewitness who refused to be mentioned told PUNCH that many of the Shi’ites were arrested and by the police.
He said: “Early in the morning, the Shi’ites gathered to embark on their usual procession, but the Police blocked the road and fired teargas to disperse them.
“They (Police) also fired gunshots and many were injured. Several others were arrested and taken away in Police vehicles to the hospital. I heard that the Shi’ites also threw stones at the police, although I didn’t witness that part, I was only told.
Another eyewitness, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Bauchi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Mallam-Goje, was also caught in the incident.
He told our Correspondent that he also suffered from the teargas that was fired by the police around Tashan Babiye around Bakin Kura area.
“Actually, I came out of my house and was on my way to the office this morning when I ran into the Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria who were carrying out their procession.
“You know they were protesting today being the 10th day of Muharam, the new month of the Islamic Calendar. Without my knowledge that the Police were there and as I arrived there, the Police teargassed the entire area and all the people there were affected including myself, we were affected by the teargas,” he said.