By Ben Agande
Kaduna— The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, yesterday, raised the alarm that their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky, who had been in detention for over two years, may die in government custody, following a deterioration of his health.
The alarm came on a day the Police again cracked down on protesting members of the group in Abuja.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, yesterday, Chairman of the Resource Forum of the IMN, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi, said a recent visit by family members of the detained leader indicated that his health had taken a dive for the worse.
According to him, the detained leader’s wife, who is also being held by government, has bullets lodged in her body that had not been extracted.
He said: “Following a rare visit to our leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, it was discovered that the health situation of the Sheikh has taken a nosedive for the worse.
“He had suffered what turned out to be a stroke but the authorities illegally detaining him had kept a blind eye to his dire situation.
“It emerged that his health condition suffered severe knocks in the past week, such that he was critically ill and was in urgent need of the best medical attention possible but Buhari administration is negligent about it.
“He suffered slurred speech, weakness of the right side of the upper limb and general weakness of both lower limbs and, consequently, has been unable to walk or even stand for the past one week. The Sheikh is also known to be hypertensive for more than 10 years.
“As we focus our attention on the deteriorating health of Sheikh Zakzaky we are not oblivious of the medical condition of his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibrahim. For reasons best known to the State Security Service, some of the bullets lodged in her body during the brutal attack of December 14, 2015, have not been extracted up till now.”
While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to release the couple immediately, the group promised to sustain its protest nationwide to demand the release of the detained leader.
Police crack down on protesting members in Abuja
Meanwhile, members of the movement have again clashed with the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja.
The IMN members, popularly known as Shi’ites, were dispersed with teargas, yesterday, as they protested the continued detention of their leader.
They had converged on Area 10 in Garki, Abuja from where they marched towards Area 2. But police officers who confronted them at Area 2 junction, attempted to disperse them.
Efforts to disperse the protesting Shi’ites were, however, unsuccessful, after which the police fired gunshots into the air.
They also fired teargas at the Shi’ites, leading to pandemonium in the area.
Two days ago, members of the group were prevented from gaining access to the National Assembly.