652 views | Kabir Usman | August 15, 2019
The Federal Government on Wednesday accused leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, of being unruly in India.
In a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Gekpe, the government also accused the Shi’ites’ leader of “displaying ulterior motives” against agreed procedures.
The Shi’ites leader and his wife Zeenat, are in India for medical treatment, based on a court order.
In the statement made available to journalists in Abuja, Gekpe, who was reacting to an audio message in which El-Zakzaky openly complained about the increased security presence around him in the Indian hospital, said El-Zakzaky’s claim should be ignored describing it as “a foul cry.”
The statement read, “The Court on August 5, 2019, granted Sheikh Ibrahim EL-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment. Consequently, the government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with the order.
“In line with the court order, El-Zakzaky was approved to embark on the trip with state officials and his choice to be accompanied by his aides and personal doctors was not opposed by the government.
“On August 12, 2019, he and other members of the entourage went to India via Dubai. It is to be noted that El-Zakzaky particularly chose Medanta Hospital, India. However, on reaching Dubai, El-Zakzaky began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures.
“He requested that his passport be handed over to him but the state officials would not budge to his pressure. The situation became worse in India as he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.
“In addition, he demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds as well as requested to be allowed to check into a five-star hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.
“The request was refused on the ground that he came into the country for medicals and not as a tourist (more so that his Visa was issued on medical grounds and not for tourism). He also demanded that police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities.”
Gekpe further alleged that, “against medical ethics and standard practice, El-Zakzaky requested to nominate doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.”
This, she added, created a stalemate, and the hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry out the required medical treatment.
She added, “Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect.
“This is on the account that they will not allow him use their country to internationalize his group’s activities.
“Against this background, the Nigerian government wishes to commend the stand of the Indian Government as well as apologize to her for the unruly behavior of El-Zakzaky.
“Similarly, the attention of the public and, indeed, the international community, is hereby drawn to these unfortunate developments.
“The government also wishes to use this opportunity to affirm its readiness to undertake the prosecution of El-Zakzaky through due process if and when he is returned to the country.
“On this note, his foul cry that he is being held in circumstances worse than he was in Nigeria should be disregarded.”