Inspector Genneral of Police, Mohammed Adamu said Shia members are not outlaw terrorists, so they are free to protest.
Mohammed explained that Nigerians are free to be Shiites but not members of the banned Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
He said that not all Shiites are attacked. According to him, only members of IMN who have been banned as terrorists are the target, not all Shiites.
The police chief added that the Nigerians who leave as Shiites and not members of IMN to organize a protest are free.
He told Daily Trust: “No, it’s not every Shiite that is targeted. There is an organisation called the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. That’s the organisation that has been proscribed.
“So, if you’re a member, you’re a terrorist; you denounce being a member of the organisation, behave well and recognise the government, because they don’t recognise our constitution, they don’t recognise constituted authority.
“In as much as you don’t recognise our government and you don’t recognise our constitution and you are a member of that movement, you’re a terrorist. And if you come out to protest or to disrupt the peace of everybody, we treat you as a terrorist.
“If they come out as Shiites, they’re free, but not as IMN members. You know in the country, we have Shiites who are not members of the IMN.
“ If you remember, during the Ashura period, we made a pronouncement that Shiites were allowed to come out to participate and mark the event, but not as members of the IMN, and that’s very clear enough.”