‘Govt withholding El-Zakzaky’s, wife’s passports’

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The Federal Government is still withholding the international passports of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Malama Zeenat, it was learnt yesterday.

A group, under the aegis of Concerned Abuja Residents (CAR), told reporters in Abuja that the government was still withholding the couple’s passports.

CAR Chairman Abdul Ayide said: “On behalf of the Concerned Abuja Residents, I wish to express our happiness over the Kaduna State High Court judgment delivered on July 28, 2021. The judgment discharged and acquitted both Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife and led to the end of their detention. It also marked the end of the protests his supporters had been staging with unflagging resolve in Abuja, calling for his freedom. This is commendable; thumbs up for the Judiciary.

“However, our felicity has been given short shrift by the reliable piece of information to which we are privy, that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were flown to Abuja after their release in the hope of jetting out for the treatment their deteriorating health condition for long requires, especially in an ultra-modern medical facility. “The only obstacle to their wish of travelling overseas for medication is the inability to receive their international passports and other necessary documents. We call on the Federal Government to help facilitate this.. as we seriously fear the return of protests in Abuja.

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“Protesting is a constitutional right, and we don’t blame the protestors for discharging one of their constitutional rights. But the protests have changed Abuja from the tranquil city it used to be to seemingly a battle ground.

“As a result, many businesses have been disrupted, and lives have been lost on numerous occasions, including those of two journalists and a police officer. Obviously, the release of the embattled Sheikh and the end of the ‘Free Zakzaky’ protests will mark a new turning point for Abuja city. Within a short period, Abuja has regained its calm and tranquil atmosphere and we welcome this breath of fresh air.

“We urge the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to release the passports of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife to enable them to travel to the hospital of their choice. This will sustain the calm and peace which have since their release returned to Abuja.”

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