The Federal Government in its response to report that Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, is being caged in India, says that the Shiites leader have ulterior motives.
The FG accused El-Zakzaky of apparently having an agenda following his recent complain.
Naija Buzz News had reported how the IMN accused the Nigerian Government of allegedly colluding with the United States of America, Israel and Indian governments to frustrate El-Zakzaky’s treatment in New Delhi.
We also reported that the Shiites leader was accompanied to India by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
It appears El-Zakzaky is not comfortable with the high security situation in the Indian hospital where he is being treated as he alleged that his hospital ward is heavily militarized, saying that the security is worse than the DSS detention centre where he was held since December 2015.
El-Zakzaky also noted that his personal doctor was not allowed to be part of the medical team at the hospital despite earlier agreements.
The Federal Government in its response through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs. Grace Gekpe, accused Sheikh El-Zakzaky of going against the earlier agreed terms.
“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,” the statement read.
She further revealed that El-Zakzaky on reaching India requested that his passport be handed over to him, the DSS operatives however vehemently refused.
The FG noted that the Indian Government was ready to return the Shiite leader back to Nigeria as he has refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.
Read the statement issued by the Nigerian Government below;
The Court on 5th August, 2019 granted Sheikh Ibraheem EL-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment. Consequently, the Government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with the Order.
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.
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 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 to 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 apologize 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.
Princess Ada is a Senior Content Creator and Head of Field Reporters at Naija Buzz News. She is a graduate of The Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, Nasarawa State, where she studied Accounting before joining the media industry. She’s well experienced in Nigeria’s online media space. Ada previously worked as the Head of Business Operations at 1Push.Ng. She is a proud Igbo from Enugu State, South-East Nigeria.