There is a palpable fear and tension in Abuja as Nigeria police and Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) clashed during their peaceful sit-out protest at the Unity Fountain leading to the arrest of the members of the group.
The bloody clash occurred at the Unity Fountain where the group is holding its daily sit-out to demand the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in the custody of Department of State Service (DSS) since December 2015.
According to an eye witness who identified himself as Ali Musa, the police fired live bullets and teargas canisters at the protesters at close range, injuring many of them.
He narrated that the police descended on the group beating them to a pulp while many scurried for safety.
The situation was said to have been compounded when the members of the group in retaliation launched an attack at the police by hurling stones at the water cannon vehicle and police officers at sight.
The road leading to Transcorp Hilton Hotel has been blocked as at time of this report while the protesters have pushed towards the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) building in Maitama.
Several vehicles parked along the roadside were vandalised while others had their glasses smashed. Army and armed mobile policemen have been drafted to curtail the civil unrest.
The security operatives have launched a manhunt for the fleeing protesters who are still hiding within the city.
Recall that a human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, was arrested and released on Friday at the Unity Fountain, forcing the leader of OurMumuDonDo, Charles Oputa (Charly Boy), to rush to the Commissioner of Police FCT Command, Sadiq Abubakar Bello.
The Commissioner told Charly Boy that the police would no longer allow any group to organise protests or rallies at the Unity Fountain, adding that they were obstructing other road users by blocking the roads along the Federal Secretariat axis.