Following Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky’s return to Nigeria after an unsuccessful medical trip to India, report has it that the Federal Government could bar him from further treatment abroad even if court grants him another permission to travel again for treatment.
The Nigerian Government believes that the Shiites leader had an ulterior motive during his visit to India. But his plan (whatever it was) apparently couldn’t work because of the high security situation he was subjected to at the Indian hospital.
The Indian Police and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had provided security for him. El-Zakzaky however complained that he was being caged like a criminal in India.
But the FG noted that he requested for his international passport and for him to be lodged into a 5 star hotel in India where he could receive visitors. He also reportedly refused treatment by the doctors of the hospital he visited.
His group however alleged that the hospital management refused to allow his preferred doctor to treat him.
El-Zakzaky had on Thursday said that he was still discussing the options given to him with his wife when officials told him to prepare for his return to Nigeria.
The IMN also accused the Nigerian Government and the Indian hospital of plotting to kill the Shiites leader.
The FG however further revealed that Shiites leader also allegedly made contact with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh and also some NGOs like the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other Shiite groups.
Everything ended in deadlock for him and he consequently returned to Nigeria on Friday. Naija Buzz News had reported that he left India on Thursday and was expected in the country on Friday.
When he landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, via an Ethiopian Airline around 12.05pm yesterday, he was immediately taken away by operatives of the DSS who were already on standby.
Report has it that his plan was to internationalise his agitations and consolidate foreign support of his group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
The Federal Government says that El-Zakzaky had plans to seek asylum abroad and then relocate to another country (Iran perhaps).
Mrs. Grace Gekpe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Culture, released a statement on behalf of the FG titled ‘The repatriation of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky from India’ after his (El-Zakzaky) arrival on Friday;
“The Federal Government wishes to inform the public about the latest development in the Ibraheem El-Zakzaky medical trip controversies to India. The government notes with dismay the acts of misconduct exhibited by El-Zakzaky that necessitated his repatriation.
“The earlier statement of August 14, 2019, by the government addressed the issues that would have raised some questions with the latest occurrences and particularly the uncelebrated return of El-Zakzaky from India.
“The public may note that El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of Nigeria and India.
“With total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures while in India, he initiated contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in that country.
“He also contacted some non-governmental organisations such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other Shiite groups. His aim was to seek asylum and eventually relocate to another country.
“It is important to note that if an Indian court had granted El-Zakzaky asylum or leave to travel to another country, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment.
“However, he used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the rights groups. Even most unfortunate and rather embarrassing, as earlier stated, was his quest to be relocated to a five-star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted to the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be.
“In spite of his misconduct, El-Zakzaky’s spouse went further to antagonise the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accuse the latter of killing her children. These acts were aimed at winning international sympathy as well as disparaging the Nigerian government.
“Having subordinated the quest for medical treatment to other ulterior motives, it became obvious that El-Zakzaky was focused on realising some sinister motives, thus the decision to return him to Nigeria.”
Shiites reacts to Federal Government allegations against El-Zakzaky
Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Media Forum, has vehemently denied report that Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky sought to seek asylum in India.
The IMN condemned the Nigerian Government, accusing the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of deceit.
According to the group, the Buhari government tells the public many lies against El-Zakzaky in the past four years.
The group noted that that was how the Federal Government had alleged that only 7 Shiites were killed in the December 2015 Zaria clash, but over 350 Shiites were buried at a secret grave in Kaduna.
The group alleged that the Federal Government and the Indian hospital (Medenta Hospital) wanted to kill their leader.
“He insisted that if he would not be allowed to see the doctors who brought him to India, he would rather return to Nigeria and seek another destination for his treatment,” he group said.
“This became clear because of the government’s stance insisting on other doctors other 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 added.
The group further noted that the hospital compromised its independence and medical ethics by treating El-Zakzaky without his consent.
IMN also revealed that the health workers in the hospital were more interested in taking selfies with him thereby violating his privacy.
“When the Sheikh noticed some physical assault, in addition to the background circumstances, he lost complete confidence in the hospital and demanded to see his own doctors for a substitute arrangement.”
The IMN said that the DSS deliberately whisked El-Zakzaky away upon his arrival to ensure he did not say anything to journalists who were already waiting for him at the airport.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.