Was the clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, (IMN) also known as Shiites and the Nigerian military which took place yesterday on the strategic Abuja-Kaduna Highway one of the regular clashes between the two or a new turn in the conflict?. The military has explained it as their response in terms of clearing the protesters who tried to block its way. But the recurring clashes between the two is now giving people goose pimples, seeing as as a General Elections is at hand.
This is more so as what would seem an escalation of conflicts across the country is observable. For, apart from this clash on a very strategic Nigerian highway, there is the sudden re-emergence of Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB whose containment would also re-appear on the security agenda. Unexplained killings as well as kidnapping, communal violence and a major insurgency are all there to be dealt with across the country.
It is surprising that there are none of such re-assuring coming together of the political, business, religious, military and intellectual leadership of the country at a time their symbolic coming together would have had calming effects on the society. What is going on is taunting, yabbis and threats from all quarters which is not seen as helping matters. It is okay for the spin doctors of leaders to haul abuses on opponents of their bosses but it has not been the political culture of the Nigerian establishment not to be talking behind the scene on issues bordering on national security. Whatever it was, Shagari and the late Chief Awolowo were meeting every month end to assess national security direction during the Shagari Presidency even as their loyalists were verbally shelling non-stop on the pages of the newspapers. As it is today, no such behind the scene acts are producing any positive consequences even if the leaders are doing it.
In the case of the video below, those who put their ears to the ground can hear shooting and road users turning round from Mandala and Dei-Dei area of the Abuja-Kaduna Highway where the confrontation took place.