Posted by News Express, Lagos | 14 September 2012 | 5,132 times
Anxiety is mounting over the likelihood of some Nigerian Muslims joining the protests that have trailed the controversial movie that denigrates Prophet Muhammad.
Produced by an American, Innocent Muslims has sparked protests in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, claiming the lives of the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other diplomats during an attack on the American mission in Benghazi.
On Wednesday evening, a group of about 100 Muslims led by one Malam Mansur Sani Adamu demonstrated on Bauchi Road in restive Jos, Plateau State in north-central Nigeria, brandishing placards and chanting “Allahuakubar, Allahuakubar, they have touched our Prophet.”
In Nigeria, the fuse of Islamic protests during occasions like this is usually pulled after the Friday prayers. This has led to a feeling of foreboding, with worried Nigerians urging vigilance on the side of both the government and the general public.
“Folks, better not let your guard down today...especially during and after Muslim prayers...Remember, whenever the Islamic world feels disgruntled with the West Nigerian Christians end up bearing the brunt of it all,” wrote Kaanayo Nwachukwu, a popular blogger.
Enterprising journalist Ahaoma Kanu, who recently won a CNN African Journalist Award, reflected similar worry on his Facebook page this morning.
Wrote Kanu: “I hope the FG has made concrete plans to protect lives and properties today as there will surely be a reaction to the film against Prophet Mohammed as prayers will be held today. The JTF (Joint Military Task Force) should be on alert as Boko Haram will want to use that excuse to kill innocent people who don’t even know about any movie. God bless Nigeria.”
A report this morning in the Lagos-based Punch spoke of “tension in many cities in the North on Thursday as security agents made efforts to prevent outbreak of protests” over the offensive film, which is yet to be released.
The paper said that “in Jos, Plateau State; Kaduna in Kaduna State and Kano, Kano State, security operatives intensified patrols, especially at flashpoints in the cities.” It said it learnt “that fundamentalists in the North had been holding meetings to kick against the film.”
News Express had two days ago exclusively reported that some aggrieved Nigerian Muslims were mobilising for protests over the controversial movie.
The US Embassy in Nigeria has issued emergency warnings to US citizens who may be traveling in Northern Nigeria or the federal capital, Abuja, to be extra cautious in view of “the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against US citizens and interests overseas.”
Nigeria’s police chief, MD Abubakar two days ago ordered his men to be at alert to nip any protests in the bud.
Nigerian Muslims have a history of joining in protests such as the present one.
*Photo: A Muslim protester
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