A civil society organization under the aegis of the Peace and Justice Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari obeying court order, which allowed the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to embark on medical vacation overseas.
Recall that a Kaduna court led by Justice Darius Khobo, had on August 5 granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, leave to travel abroad for medical treatment.
The group said by that singular gesture, the government proved that their detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.
Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its President, Elder Andrew John Onuche, urged the court to commence the trial of the IMN leader without delay.
The group further called on el-Zakzaky’s counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot.
The statement below.
Gentlemen of the press, for the past several months, Nigeria came under attacks from the radical and extremist elements of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). They first relocated their violence from Kaduna to the nation’s capital, Abuja and eventually spread their disruptive activities to other cities across the country. These extremist activities only mellowed after the court proscribed IMN as a terrorist organization in accordance with the anti-terrorism legislation in Nigeria.
The basis for these violent protests was the excuse that IMN militants were protesting for their leader, Mr Ibraheem el-Zakzaky to be freed even though he was in custody while being tried for treason, murder and sundry crimes. While the protests began as unruly affairs that involve IMN members menacing innocent Nigerians and depriving them from moving freely about their daily business, the propaganda lunched – with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran – that el-Zakzaky was mortally sick became a basis for them to engage in full blown terrorist activities, including a brazen attempt to overthrow the National Assembly as well as targeted assassination of police officers and journalists.
Note that a group of doctors from Iran visited el-Zakzaky and his wife in detention came up with a catalogue of ailments that hinted the leader of the terrorist organization may have only weeks to live if he was not urgently flown abroad for treatment. They created the impression that the hospitals in Nigeria are unable to treat his ailments. This assertion was curiously reinforced by a team of 186 doctors from seven countries, who were mostly Shias like el-Zakzaky.
We thank the Federal Government for taking the humanitarian step of allowing el-Zakzaky and his wife to seek treatment abroad, even when acceding to this request appeared like pandering to the demands of terrorists. By that singular gesture the government proved that his detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.
El-Zakzaky is now back in Nigeria as the authorities in India found him insufferable and disruptive to the point that they were not able to put up with his behaviour for 72 hours – law-abiding Nigerians should thus be commended for enduring decades of this plague in human form. He was simply belligerent. He pestered the security accompanying him to return his passport during a Dubai stop-over, he wanted to be checked into a five-star hotel, he rejected treatment from one hospital and rejected assigned doctors when he eventually got to his preferred hospital. He refused to submit for pre-treatment tests but was rather receiving an assortment of visitors and above all made a video broadcast that gave him away as a scam, a fraud.
It is worthy of mention that El-Zakzaky only sought a medical vacation as a ruse to escape. His must have thought that only himself, his Iranian handlers and lieutenants were aware of the nefarious reasons for acting the way he did but facts are now emerging. It is now known that had he been given his passport as requested he would have later requested to use the toilet facilities from where he would have sneaked out into the waiting hands of his Iranian handlers who had a private jet positioned to take off within minutes. Had he been checked into a five-star hotel as requested his Iranian handlers had infiltrated the place and would have drugged the security team and proceed to ferrying him to Iran.
The same arrangement was made as a fallback option when he was checked into Medanta Hospital, which explains his frustration when he discovered that India had a full complement of security to support the Nigerian team. Seeing that the game was up he became irritable and dramatic. It should be noted that the rejection the assigned team of doctors and declining to submit for new medical tests was because both instances would have led to the discovery that the ailments, they had reported, were either a ruse or highly exaggerated. It is a development that would have made self-respecting countries withdrew the medical licenses of these doctors that placed their sectarian affiliation above professional ethics.
There are however positive aspects that have emerged from the entire saga. We have found out that the “el-Zakzaky is sick and dying” story is a big fat lie, a pig in a poke. As one social media user, Kikute, puts it on Twitter: “Zakzaky walked. He talked. He glanced at his wristwatch and said the time. He is seeing clearly with his two eyes. Zakzaky is not sick. Baba Falana…nooooooo”. The whole of this is a conspiracy to assist him in escaping to Iran to direct IMN’s terrorism from there.
From his assertion that the security around him in India made Kirikiri Prison to feel like a five-star hotel, it can now be concluded that law enforcement and the military in Nigeria have shown him such courtesy as he and his group do not extend to other citizens. It has equally been proven that he has received in Nigeria the kind of medical treatment that assured him to reject treatment in India.
Another fact that has emerged from el-Zakzaky’s aborted medical tourism in India is that through the video broadcast he made confirmed that he is not remorseful for the deaths he has caused – his members, military and law enforcement personnel, journalists and innocent Nigerians have died from situations created by him. It is now clear that he will make inciting multimedia messages to urge members of the IMN terrorist organization to launch attacks against Nigerians if the mistake is ever made of allowing him escape to Iran then the world should brace for such terrorism has never been experienced before.
We call on el-Zakzaky’s counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot. He may think he is engaged in a juvenile game of hide and seek but it is grossly irresponsible to squander taxpayers fund the way he did on his India trip.
Our expectation is that those who were deceived into being sympathetic to el-Zakzaky’s the IMN’s cause now have a vista into what they have been supporting. Nigerians should begin to question the NGOs that had sold the lies that the IMN is an armless group.
Even as we commend the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for giving el-Zakzaky the privilege to have gone on the Indian medical trip, we urge that there should be no further waste of taxpayers’ money for what has now been proven to be an escape bid. Such funds should rather be channelled into rehabilitating repentant IMN members. The government should in the meantime approach the court to note how the accused abused the travel leave granted by the court for making the inciting video broadcast.
It should as well send a commendation not to the government and people of India for their support in managing the situation in a way that it was not internationalized like the IMN and Iran wanted.
The Nigerian government should equally run its own set of medical tests to establish the lies told by the Iranian doctors and supported by the group of 186 doctors with a view to reporting the other doctors (that are not Iranian) for medical malpractice. They abused their position of influence by lending themselves to a terrorist plot.
It is our sincere wish that these exposure of the sham by el-Zakzaky, his legal counsel, doctors, IMN, Iran, and retainer NGOs will bring closure to the demonizing of the Nigerian state.