A protest by supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is ongoing in Abuja as of Tuesday, March 3. Protesters are reportedly marching along Aguiyi Ironsi street towards the Transport Hilton hotel, located in Maitama district.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in Abuja over the coming hours. Clashes between protesters and security forces are possible.
IMN leader Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, a prominent Shi'a cleric, was arrested in December 2015 when soldiers raided his home in Zaria (Kaduna state), killing a number of IMN followers in the process. The Nigerian Federal High Court ordered Zakzaky's release in December 2016, but he has remained in detention. The suit against the leader is still in court with the next hearing scheduled for April 23 and 24. IMN protests occur on a regular basis, especially in Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano states, despite a ban on the group's activities.
Individuals in Abuja are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.