Jide Oyekunle;Chidi Ugwu
Abuja – The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on Wednesday in Abuja raised a fresh alarm over the health and safety of its spiritual leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, at the Mendata Hospital in India, saying his life was in danger.
The movement alleged that the Nigerian government, in collaboration with the Indian government, prevented the personal doctor of El-Zakzaky to treat him.
They claimed that the two countries colluded to arrange for another doctor through the back door.
The group said they could no longer guarantee his and his wife’s safety since the security officials that escorted him had refused to allow him have access to his personal physician.
The group made the allegation at a press conference addressed by their spokesperson, Abdullahi Musa, who said that the Indian government had given him a two-hour ultimatum to decide to be treated in the hospital as criminal or leave the country.
Musa said since his arrival at the hospital, he had not been allowed to see his doctor who was also part of the team that examined him in Nigeria.
He added that the doctor was prevented from gaining access to where he (El-Zakzaky) was being kept incommunicado in the hospital.
Daily Independent gathered that the Islamic scholar had vowed not to be treated by the strange doctor brought by the Nigerian government.
According to the spokesperson, “Sheikh Zakzaky himself, in an audio clip from the hospital, indicated that security agents were colluding with foreign security agents believed to be working for the interest of the American government thereby violating the Nigerian court ruling.
“Earlier, even before the Sheikh arrived the hospital, we gathered from competent sources that officials of the American embassy in India instructed the management of the hospital not to admit the Sheikh there for treatment.
“They refused to allow the doctors he requested to treat him and his wife access to them completely.”
He also alleged that the security operatives had seized the mobile phones of his family members who were with him in the hospital, therefore keeping them incommunicado.
The IMN noted that they heard from reliable sources that the doctors were waiting to receive the Sheikh to save his life but that American secret agents had threatened the hospital officials not to go ahead to treat the Sheikh at the hospital.
In an audio clip, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), London, Dr. Massoud Shejdreh, said the Indian government told El-Zakzaky to leave India if he does not agree to the doctors specified to treat him.
He added that he was being treated in a poor manner and that he had no choice but to return to Nigeria.
“I just received very worrying news from the Indian government that an ultimatum has been given to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to leave India if he does not agree to the doctors specified to treat him. The way that he is being treated is extremely bad.
“Under the current situation, it seems he has no choice other than to return to Nigeria. He has been given some hours to respond to their ultimatum. This, to me, is totally, utterly unacceptable by any standard.
“This is a man that has not been found guilty of anything to the extent that, in his own country, the highest court had granted him permission that he should be treated.
“The Indian government, by their behaviour, depicts Sheikh El-Zakzaky as a common criminal. This is really outrageous and those who stand for justice should please respond,” Shejdreh stated.
The IHRC is the organisation that bankrolled the trip and medical bills of the Islamic scholar.
El-Zakzaky Demanding To Be Checked Into 5-Star Hotel In India – FG
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Wednesday said Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds, as well as requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital in India.
Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, in a statement, said the request was refused on the ground that the embattled cleric came to the country for medicals and not as a tourist. Besides, his visa was issued on medical grounds and not for tourism.
“The court on 5th August, 2019 granted Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment. Consequently, the government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with the order,” Gekpe said.
“In line with the court order, El-Zakzaky was approved to embark on the trip with state officials; and his choice to be accompanied by his aides and personal doctors was not opposed by the government.”
Gekpe added, “On 12th August, 2019, he and other members of the entourage went to India via Dubai. It is to be noted that El-Zakzaky particularly chose Medanta Hospital, India.
“However, on reaching Dubai, El-Zakzaky began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures.
“He requested that his passport be handed over to him but the state officials would not budge to his pressure. The situation became worse in India as he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.
“In addition, he demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds as well as requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.
“The request was refused on the ground that he came into the country for medicals and not as a tourist (more so that his visa was issued on medical grounds and not for tourism).
“He also demanded that police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities.
“Against medical ethics and standard practice, he requested to nominate doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.
“This created a stalemate, which the hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry out the required medical treatment.
“Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect. This is on the account that they will not allow him use their country to internationalise his group’s activities.
“Against this background, the Nigerian government wishes to commend the stand of the Indian government as well as apologise to her for the unruly behaviour of El-Zakzaky.
“Similarly, the attention of the public and indeed the international community is hereby drawn to these unfortunate developments.
“The government also wishes to use this opportunity to affirm its readiness to undertake the prosecution of El-Zakzaky through due process if and when he is returned to the country.
“On this note, his foul cry that he is being held in circumstances worse than he was in Nigeria should be disregarded.”