- Says Shiite leader left New Delhi 17:00hrs Thursday
By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has said that its leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, will return to Nigeria on Friday because of the refusal of the government and the India hospital to allow his doctors take part in his treatment.
The Spokesman of the sect, Ibrahim Musa, disclosed this in an interview on Thursday in Kaduna.
El Zakzaky had complained in an audio recording that went viral on Wednesday that he was denied access to his personal doctors in India and that security around him was tighter than when he was in Nigeria.
Musa, the spokesman of IMN, while revealing on Wednesday that El Zakzaky’s medical trip to India was arranged by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), later claimed that the issues raised by the Shiite leader in the audio recording had been resolved “for now.”
His claim was corroborated by IHRC which also stated in a statement on its website on Wednesday that: “Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Mallimah Zeenah have been given access to their medical team. They are still restricted to the hospital premises, but there are negotiations going on to resolve this situation. Everyone’s swift action this morning is deeply appreciated.”
But on Thursday, Musa said the government and the Indian hospital management refused to allow El Zakzaky’s doctors to be part of the team of doctors to treat him.
”We are expecting the Sheikh tomorrow (Friday) in Nigeria. The Sheikh insisted that the doctors who had already examined him before should be allowed to have a say in his treatment.
”Initially they agreed that his doctors should be part of the team and observe the treatment. But they later refused and the Sheikh said since they will not allow the doctors to observe the treatment, it is better he returns home.
“The doctors are not working in the hospital, but the Sheikh has the right to ensure that his doctors are part of the team to treat him.
”They initially agreed, but the government and the hospital management refused.”
Musa said, “If the sheikh comes back, we are going to look for an alternative country to go. Like the sheikh said, we will choose to go to Malaysia, Turkey or Indonesia.”
In a statement he also released on Thursday night, the IMN spokesman said “it is now confirmed that the Sheikh is on his way back to Abuja, Nigeria.”
“In a video message sent through his office, the Sheikh said it was decided that they will be taken to the airport to be flown back to Nigeria. He left Delhi by 17:00 hrs Nigerian time. He prayed that may be the best option in the circumstances, ” the IMN statement said.
Below is the full statement issued by IMN Thursday night:
Sheikh Zakzaky Announces Return Home Following Attempts By Nigerian And Indian Security To Impose Medical Treatment
Following lack of breakthrough in the impasse that ensued in the treatment in New Delhi of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, it is now confirmed that the Sheikh is on his way back to Abuja, Nigeria. The impasse was sequel to refusal of the Sheikh to succumb to imposition of Medical treatment by the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with their Indian colleagues.
In a video message sent through his office, the Sheikh said it was decided that they will be taken to the airport to be flown back to Nigeria. He left Delhi by 17:00 hrs Nigerian time. He prayed that may be the best option in the circumstances.
The Nigerian government’s interference and scuttling of the whole process rather than supervision as ordered by the court is the direct cause of the impasse. The government never wanted the medical leave in the first place, and did whatever to stop it by all means possible.
The Islamic Movement is completely not happy with the latest development, and we strongly believe any peace loving person in Nigeria feels the same. The government left no one in doubt that it never wanted the Sheikh to go for the medical treatment in the first place. They opposed the application in court. When the order went against them, they indicated their desire to appeal against it. When that wasn’t going to stop the journey, they attempted to prevent it via introduction of stringent conditions that were not put in place by the court. Having failed to stop using all these methods, they exploited the clear direction to “supervise” and went ahead to obstruct the medical treatment in New Delhi, India. Why would the Sheikh trust a government that killed thousands of his supporters including his sons, shot him and his wife and further exposed them to heavy metal poisoning?
As we await his arrival, we pray to almighty Allah to continue to protect him from the enemies of peace, who were behind the Zaria genocide of December, 2015 and the subsequent extreme persecution and torture he is being subjected to.
President Media Forum Islamic Movement of Nigeria