The Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has expressed concern over the deteriorating health of leader of the group, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
The group said information at its disposal revealed that bullets lodged in El-Zakzazy's skull and body during the December 2015 clash with soldiers were threatening his life.
Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, spokesperson for the AFIM, said the Nigerian Government had prevented physicians from providing medical help for the Islamic cleric.
He also claimed that a team of Indian doctors that came to Nigeria for the investigation and review of his case were refused access to him.
He said, “Available information reaching us revealed that the health condition of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibraheem is seriously deteriorating.
"Our concern over the deteriorating health of Sheikh Zakzaky is growing, as a person of his critical condition is not supposed to remain in incarceration. How on earth will he continue to be in prison with bullet shrapnel causing more harm to an already worsening situation. This is not implausible that there are some sinister motives behind the Regimes insistence on keeping him in the highly congested jail in Kaduna. How else can the actions of the regime be explained.
“Take for instance the aborted trip to India. From the beginning, after the travel permit was granted by a court, moves were made by the government to frustrate it. If not for Sheikh Zakzaky's family members who dug in their heels to ensure that the trip actually took place. In agreement with the court order, and of course presidential approval, for the journey, the government was to only supervise. However, instead of doing what it was supposed to, the government wanted to seize control of the trip, and started issuing commands and orders: ranging from an insistence that half a dozen security operatives, including a police doctor accompany them, to restraining the number of family members who could join them, to sabotaging the whole trip. This among other things amounted to compromising of the Sheikh's and his wifes health and security.
“Therefore, as the Sheikh arrived in India on 13th August, 2019, he was welcomed into a tight and hostile security dragnet in addition to the deceitful reception at the airport and the hospital concourse which culminated in the refusal to allow his personal physicians access to him. Even the team of doctors that came to Nigeria for the investigation and review of his case were refused access to him. Instead they were substituted with very unusual set of unfamiliar doctors that acted in ways that caused the sheikh and his wife to become suspicious.
“On return, before long, the Buhari regime, defied all odds and transferred the seriously ailing Sheikh and his wife to the unhealthy prison in Kaduna where doctors lack proper access and even facilities to handle their cases. The regime was keen on putting finishing touches to what it had started by whatever means possible. Since it could not achieve it through the barrel of a gun, it was deemed achievable with the connivance of conscienceless, unruly elements. When it did not work out to their expectation, prison became the last resort. This contempt for his critical health condition is of course a cause for suspicion, as sinister motives perhaps lie in there.
“It is obvious that the Sheikh's critical health condition has not been given the attention it so requires. Otherwise, it would not have got to this. If criminals and those who continue to loot and pillage the country dry receive special treatments, how will Sheikh Zakzaky remain incarcerated despite the brutalities against him. Six of his nine children were murdered in cold blood, his residence set ablaze and demolished, over a thousand of his followers massacred.
“His wife suffers from severe arthritis in her knee joints, which her doctors have said can only be treated with knee replacement surgery since at least three years ago. She also has loose fragments of bullet pieces in her abdominal area which cause a large number of episodes of periodic life-threatening complications with her organs, the wheel chair bound mother of nine is hypertensive. Even one of the ailments suffered by either of them constitutes a very serious medical emergency, let alone a combination of all of them. It should be noted that the Sheikh has already suffered two strokes while in detention. Both Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife need urgent and critical interventions to salvage their health.
“In view of the deteriorating health condition of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibraheem, we are demanding for unconditional release of the couple.”