By Innocent Jacob
Barely three days after he arrived New Delhi, India, for a much sought medical treatment, the leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, otherwise known as the Shiites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, discharged himself, Thursday, and will arrive Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Friday.
El-Zakzaky broke the news himself via a video clip which went viral on Thursday.
He left India at 17.00 hours GMT, and will land the Nnamdi Azikiwie International Airport, Abuja, later Friday.
Last night, IMN’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed the development to Channels Television, via a telephone interview, that their spiritual leader was, indeed, on his way back home.
Musa said El-Zakzaky’s decision to leave the Indian hospital was a result of some irreconcilable differences with regards to the Shiite leader’s treatment while in the South Asian country.
Here are Musa’s words as monitored on Channels Television on the station’s flagship news bulletin, NEWS AT 10, Thursday:
“Following lack of a breakthrough in the impasse that ensued in the treatment of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in New Delhi, it is now confirmed that the Sheikh is on his way back to Abuja, Nigeria. He is scheduled to leave 17hrs Nigerian time.
“In a video message sent by the Sheikh himself, he said that they were given two alternatives; either to commence the treatment on their own terms i.e. the government terms or they will be sent back. And that it has been announced to them that they will be sent back and he is praying to Allah that may it be the best option for him and for everybody.
“It is clear to us that the Nigerian government interference and the scuttling of the whole process rather than supervision as ordered bt the court is the direct course of the impasse.
“The government as we know never wanted the medical leave in the first place and as we have seen it did whatever it can to stop it (medical leave) by all means possible and unfortunately it has stopped it.”
Musa was not done. He described as ‘unfortunate’ what the federal government allegedly did on the matter that had already been declared in the court that proceedings cannot go on with a patient, that the top priority was for any accused person is to be regain his health.
The IMN spokesman added that to regain failing health was the plan of the Sheikh, stressing that the IMN leader’s efforts had been scuttled.
He added that members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria await the Sheikhs arrival and will start planning on the next move.
‘Controversy In India’
The Shiite leader and his wife, Zeenat, who has been in detention since 2015, had both left the country for India on August 12, seven days after the Kaduna State High Court granted them permission to travel to India for medical treatment.
On Wednesday, just one day after their arrival at the hospital, the trip turned controversial with El-Zakzaky and the IMN accusing the Nigerian government of denying him access to the doctor with whom they had an arrangement.
The Federal Government, in turn, accused the Shiite leader of becoming unruly at the hospital.
Although the IMN spokesperson and a hospital representative had both said in separate statements later in the evening that the issues had been resolved and that treatment was expected to proceed, the situation has degenerated with the proscribed group accusing the government of interfering with the process.