By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shi’ites has set the national flags of the United States of America (USA) and Israeli on fire during a massive protest in Abuja.
Though the Shi’ites have been protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, by the federal government, the burning of the flags of the two nations has nothing to do with El-Zakzaky’s condition.
Vanguard gathered that their action on Friday was in solidarity with the people of Palestine who are allegedly terrorised by the Israeli government with support from the USA.
Abdullahi Musa, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, told our correspondent that the burning of the flags was a yearly ritual by Shi’ites worldwide on the last Friday of the Muslim month of Ramadan as instructed by the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, late Sheikh Khomeini.
He said, “Today is last the Friday of Ramadan and we burnt the flags in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
“The Palestinians are being killed, their settlements are being destroyed, and forcefully occupied by the Jews.
“So, Imam Khomeini before he died, declared every last Friday of the month of Ramadan as a demand to show solidarity to the people of Palestine.”
600 Shi’ites storm NASS, unveil report on El-Zakzaky’s poor health
Also on Tuesday no fewer than 600 Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, have stormed the National Assembly to protest the continued detention of their sick leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, despite a medical report recommending the federal government releases him to seek urgent treatment for several life-threatening ailments abroad.
Members of the sect expressed dismay over the perceived indifference of government to the report submitted to relevant authorities by a delegation of foreign doctors and consultants led by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, London 33 days ago.
The medical team, at the instance of the federal government, had conducted initial investigation into the health status of El-Zakzaky and his wife, both of whom have been in detention by the Department of State Services since December 2015.
Though the Shi’ites were not allowed into either of the two chambers of the National Assembly, they occupied the entrance for several hours while chanting intermittent protest songs under heavy security watch.
Speaking during the protest, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Musa, said: “The Doctors strongly recommend that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife be allowed urgently to obtain treatment in highly specialized multi-specialty hospital out of the country.
“It is quite inhuman that the Sheikh and his wife are still under unlawful detention without proper medical treatment despite a Federal High Court judgement that ordered for the immediate and unconditional release of the couple and payment of compensation to them for illegally detaining them.
“Obviously, the rights of the couple have been violated and their life is in danger; we are determined to continue with our protest demanding for unconditional release of our Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah Ibraheem.”
El-Zakzaky’s medical condition
Reeling out details of El-Zakzaky’s health status, Musa, said: “The medical report discovered that Sheikh Zakzaky has been having chest pain at rest and mild shortness of breath on moderate effort. He also has severe neck pain associated with tingling sensation in the upper limbs and difficulty in sleeping due to the pain. He Is on treatment for longstanding hypertension.
“Given the situation where he currently is, this is the maximum that can be done for the patient to salvage his only eye. If he is left like this, it is only a matter of time before he finally becomes legally blind.
“Furthermore, he has symptoms and signs of ischemic heart disease which can lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack). His neck symptoms are severely debilitating which often results in insomnia. He may require specialized glaucoma-tube surgery to lower his intraocular pressure to a safer level.”
Musa added that the report also discovered that Malama Zeenah has disabled bilateral knee joint pains affecting her activities of daily living.
According to him, “She has received multiple intra articular steroid injections, which are of no help and neither are the several oral and parenteral analgesics she is using. Of late, she has been having severe right sided colicky abdominal pain associated with nausea, vomiting and sweating, not relieved by analgesics or anti-spasmodic.
“She is hypertensive on medication and is currently experiencing chest pain radiating to the left arm on mild exertion. She also has progressive blurring of vision in the left eye.”