The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, arrived Nigeria on Sunday from India. Mr El-Zakzaky’s flight arrived the Abuja airport on Friday. He was promptly whisked away by security operatives, believed to be officials of the SSS.
The Shiite cleric has been in the custody of the SSS since his arrest in December 2015 following a massacre of over 300 IMN members by soldiers in Kaduna, for blocking a road. He travelled to India following an Abuja court order that he be allowed to receive treatment there. He claimed, upon arriving in India, that the Nigerian government working with the Indian government frustrated him from getting adequate treatment.
The Nigerian government has denied the accusations and said the Shiite cleric had ulterior motives for his actions in India. In a statement on Friday, the IMN said it “vehemently condemned the way the security agents whisked him away upon arrival without allowing the multitude of journalists that were waiting for him for hours to have a chat with him.”
Read the full IMN statement below.
As our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has landed safely at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport today, we wish to set the records straight in order to disabuse the minds of Nigerians from the false claims perpetrated in some sponsored stories and articles in the media concerning his aborted medical treatment in India. However before we do that, we vehemently condemn the way the security agents whisked him away upon arrival without allowing the multitude of journalists that were waiting for him for hours to have a chat with him. We urge the security agency holding him hostage to declare to the public where they are keeping him in the country. It is a well-known fact that the Nigerian authorities had tried all their antics to see that the Sheikh wasn’t given a medical leave. Distrustful of the Nigerian government’s offer of a jet to take him to the destination, having survived its attempts to poison and kill him while in detention, our leader Sheikh Zakzaky declined the offer and chose to pay for his trip through the Emirates Airline. Their ordeal started right here in Nigeria when they were schedule to board the plane to Dubai. After a 2 hours’ drive from Kaduna to Nnamdi Azikwe international Airport in Abuja, they were not given enough time to rest before boarding the plane.
They endured an 8 hours flight to Dubai and another 3 hours flight to New Delhi. Under normal circumstances, as patients suffering life threatening ailments they shouldn’t have been subjected to such exhaustion. Nonetheless our leader and his wife endured the journey hoping that they will get good treatment when they reached New Delhi. Advertisement However, despite their need for rest, they were forcibly wheeled to a hospital on arrival without their personal physician that accompanied them from Nigeria. They were then subjected to physical examination in the absence of the doctors that initially examined them in Nigeria and when they requested for their presence, it was turned down. Another physician that came from London was also denied access to them despite his familiarity with the Sheikh’s case from Nigeria.
It was at this point that Sheikh Zakzaky lost confidence in the whole process and refused any further attempt to have him forcibly treated. Moreso, the Hospital compromised its independence and medical ethics, treating without obtaining consent of the patients. The health workers were further more interested in taking selfie with the Sheikh and posting on social media, thereby violating their privacies. When the Sheikh noticed some physical assault in addition to the background circumstances, he lost complete confidence in the hospital and demanded to see his own doctors for a substitute arrangement. It is well within every patient’s right to decide whether or not to be treated and to also decide who attends to his health. It is called giving of consent, which every sane autonomous person with capacity is entitled to. Contrary to the Nigerian government’s press statement, that misinformed that it was against “medical ethics and standard practice,”
it is in fact at the very essence of medical ethics, which every elementary medical person knows. The interference of the government raised suspicion that it was planning to kill the Sheikh in India using its international connections. He insisted that if he would not be allowed to see the doctors that brought him to India he would rather come back to Nigeria and seek another destination for his treatment. This became clear because of the government’s stance insisting on other doctors than the ones that he was in India to meet. They finally decided to bring him back for refusing to succumb to be treated by their chosen doctors. It is worth noting that the Kaduna high court allowed the Sheikh to go to India with the government only supervising, instead the federal government presented him to the Indian government as a dangerous suspect with an unknown ailment coming to India and demanded stringent security placed on him. There was even a report that the security agents in India subjected him to physical assault. It is glaringly clear that the Nigerian government had an ULTERIOR MOTIVE it was nursing using its connections in India when it violated court order and interfered with the procedures of the Sheikh’s treatment. This can also be deduced from the way the security agents whisked him away to unknown destination after arrival at Abuja International airport, without allowing him to have audience with the journalists that were waiting for his arrival.
The Islamic Movement will however continue its struggle to ensure that our leader gets the appropriate medical treatment he deserves as ordered by the Kaduna High court. And as we continue with the struggle, we wish to reiterate our call for the federal government to comply with an earlier Abuja high court that has freed him since 2016.
We believe obedience to this court order will finally solve the crisis that has been lingering since the Zaria genocide of December 2015.