A non-governmental organization, Middle-Belt Youth Assembly (MBYA) has advised the European Union (EU) to ask President Muhammadu Buhari led government on humanitarian and judicial ground to grant the leader of the Islamic sect, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenat,...
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A non-governmental organization, Middle-Belt Youth Assembly (MBYA) has advised the European Union (EU) to ask President Muhammadu Buhari led government on humanitarian and judicial ground to grant the leader of the Islamic sect, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenat, who had been discharged and acquitted by Kaduna state High Court the release of their traveling documents to treat themselves of various ailments as a result of the brutal crackdown unleashed on them and without any privilege for medical treatment received while in the custody of state security.
In a statement signed by its publicity secretary Mr Yunana Kambai , the group says even Mr. President took time off from duty to attend to his worsening health situation outside the country to stay safe.
The statement read; as you are aware, It has been over four months since the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his wife were acquitted and discharged by Kaduna State High Court, after spending almost six years in illegal detention. Judge Gideon Kurada had, in his ruling delivered on July, 2021, upheld the couple’s no-case submission and dismissed all eight charges, including culpable homicide, disruption of public peace and unlawful assembly, levelled against them by the Kaduna State government.
The couple who were arrested since December 2015 have been languishing in DSS custody, before later being transferred to Kaduna Correctional Centre facility, under in human and degrading condition. Their medical situation was not properly in addition to their mismanaged life threatening gunshot injuries and numerous health complications that require serious intervention; as a result of which their health condition woefully deteriorated from bad to worse.
Now that the couple are acquitted of all charges filed against them by the Kaduna state government, they should be allowed to attend to their health, wherever they choose to go, without any iota of mischief and undue frustration whatsoever. But on the contrary, since their aborted medical trip, the couple’s passports and other documents that will allow them to travel is reportedly withheld, and have therefore no access to adequate medical care till date.
The deterioration in the couple’s health condition is so glaring as the Sheikh could be seen limping and his wife confined to a wheelchair as they exited the court premises last few months. This is a consequence of lack of access to proper medical attention in the course of the years they have spent in illegal detention.
The Sheikh and his wife have suffered enough already: six of their children were extrajudicially killed in the pace of less than two years, over a thousand of his followers were killed and buried in mass and unmarked graves, and hundreds of others killed while peacefully protesting against his persecution and illegal detention; therefore not allowing them to travel at the moment is tantamount to rubbing salt in their wounds.
If anything, the government should, for the good of the nation, maintain the fresh breath of air in the streets of Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and other cities considering the security crisis ravaging the country; it is therefore unwise of the government to add yet another. One thing is certain, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is not allowed to attend to his health, those streets will soon be littered with his unrelenting, indefatigable followers.
We call on the European Union to help facilitate this, as we seriously fear the return of protests in Abuja and other major cities. Protesting is a constitutional right, and we don’t blame the protestors for discharging one of their constitutional rights. But the protests by the IMN in the past had changed Abuja from the tranquil city it used to be to seemingly a battle ground due to intolerance and crude tactics of the security agents.
As civil Society Organizations we call the EU as a matter of urgency to ask Nigerian Government to release the passports of the couple so that they can attend to their health. Injustice to one is injustice to all. For peace to reign clergymen, well meaning individuals and all people of conscience should please urge the government to allow the ailing Sheikh and his wife attend to their health, especially as the Sheikh has demonstrated an inconceivable height of perseverance, restraint and abiding compliance with the Nigerian judicial system.
"We solicit your kind intervention in the release of the documents as the couple are seriously suffering from many injuries and resultant multiple life-threatening health challenges", the group stressed.
Thank you and God Bless
Mr Yunana Kambai
Middle-Belt Youth Assembly