26th December, 2013
The Nigerian Police in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday averted what could have snowballed into a violent clash between some members of the Shi’ite sect and the Gyellesu community in the ancient city.
The incident which however left three persons with injuries was as a result of a misunderstanding on road projects in the area.
The Kaduna State Government had embarked on the reconstruction of Waziri and Madaki roads in Gyellesu, in the Zaria Local Government Area.
A witness and resident of Gyellesu described the event as a mere misunderstanding.
“Dust from vehicles plying the reconstructed road has become a source of concern to the residents around the area, who have no alternative than to seek means of avoiding or reducing it. The residents then decided to put some stones on the way to reduce motorists’ speed on the road.
“However, Shi’ite members attempted to remove the stones, and people around prevented them from doing so,” said the source.
The forcible removal of the stones by the Shi’ite members led to the exchange of words and blows, said the witness.
The source said there was however an intervention by two traditional leaders, Malam Musa Bala and Malam Bello Aliyu, the Sarkin Gyellesu 1 and Sarkin Gyellesu 2 respectively.
They visited Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzakey, the sect leader, for a dialogue which did not yield any fruitful result.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Aminu Lawal, said policemen had since been mobilised to the area.
He added that the situation had been brought under control.
“The police intervention saved the situation, as only God knows what would have happened.
“However, the police are now on top of the situation, and policemen will be patrolling the area until normalcy is fully returned,” Lawal assured.
The PPRO appealed to both sides to sheathe their swords to allow the peace being experienced in the state to flourish.