The banned Islamic Movement of Nigeria has expressed disappointment that its leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky was whisked away by the DSS, to an ‘unknown destination’ after his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday afternoon.
Its unhappiness stemmed from the media opportunity the security agencies allowed their man to miss, being interviewed by a multitude of media men waiting for hours at the airport.
The journalists waited in vain as the security men took him away through another door.
The IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa said the ‘security agency’ holding him hostage should declare to the public “where they are keeping him in the country”.
He vowed that the movement would continue the struggle to arrange another medical trip for him outside Nigeria and also his freedom from DSS detention.
Until he was allowed to leave for India on Monday, El-Zakzaky was being detained by the DSS.
” 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″, Musa said.
In the statement Friday, which he described as ‘setting the records straight’, the IMN spokesman highlighted some developments leading to the El-Zakzaky stand-off with doctors at India’s Medanta Hospital.
“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 scheduled 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 eight 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.
“However, even though they needed rest, on arrival they were wheeled to a hospital without their personal physician that accompanied them from Nigeria. They were then subjected to physical examination in the absence of the doctors that examined them in Nigeria and when they requested for their presence, it was turned down. Even a physician that came from London was also denied access to them. It was at this point that Sheikh Zakzaky refused any attempt to have him forcefully treated.
“More so, the Hospital compromised its stance and medical ethics, as a result the Sheikh lost interest 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.