Fifty Iranian scholars who are concerned about an alleged worsening health condition of the detained Nigerian Shi’ites leader Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, say they have, on the eve of Eid al-Ghdir, observed the manifestation of the arrogance of the Federal Government in the measures taken against the detainee.
Eid al-Ghdir, according to Wikipedia, is an Islamic Eid (holiday), and is considered to be among the significant feasts of Islam, particularly Shia Islam. The Eid is held on 18 Dhu Al-Hijjah at the time when the Islamic prophet Muhammad (following instruction from Allah) was said to have appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor.
According to hadiths, this Eid has been named Eid-Allah al-Akbar (the greatest divine Eid), Eid Ahl al-Bayt Muhammad and Ashraf al-A’yaad (the supreme Eid).
In a letter to their Nigerian counterparts on Monday, the Iranian scholars underlined the need for more efforts to free El-Zakzaky who they say, is suffering acute health problems.
The 50 Iranian academics in Isfahan province’s universities said in their letter, ‘’the history of Islam has always been witness to the struggle between the freemen and the tyrants and of course the consciousness of the thinkers of the society is a barrier to the oppressors’ ambitions.
‘’Today (Monday), on the eve of Eid al-Ghdir we observe the manifestation of their arrogance in the measures taken by the Nigerian government against El-Zakzaky. We feel to be bound to use our pen and tongue to support this great man. Islam has taught us that the ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.
‘’We the academic staff of the Iranian universities request you to take action and demand that the Nigerian authorities release El-Zakzaky and his wife. We urge you to use all your powers and influence to help bring about a swift and peaceful resolution.
‘’Our responsibility is very serious. Today, if we let them realise their wicked purpose to silence and drown out El-Zakzaky’s voice, tomorrow they will dare commit more violent crimes against Muslims around the world. Our attempts to perform this divine responsibility will bring about victory; In shā Allāh.’’
They are also calling on the Iranian Foreign Affairs to take big and rapid legal strides to free the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), El-Zakzaky, so that he can receive immediate life-saving medical treatment.
El-Zakzaky, a prominent Shi’ites leader, has been in detention along with his wife for close to four years despite the deterioration of his health conditions.
In an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency, the previous Tuesday, Dr. Pourrahim Najafabadi, a medical doctor, said El-Zakzaky needs to be cured by an experienced medical team of physicians in a specialized multi-specialty hospital outside Nigeria, since there is no such medical center in the African country.
According to Najafabadi, the founder and spokesperson of a group of expert physicians who have volunteered to treat El-Zakzaky: ‘’With the current physical condition of the Sheikh, especially the virulent lead poisoning, his life is seriously at risk by delayed treatment. Meanwhile, there is a need for special medical care even in case of complete medical treatment. There is serious risk to Sheikh’s life if he is kept under detention.’’
Last Sunday, a group of doctors from Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in a letter to the Nigerian government pointed to El-Zakzaky’s physical conditions, and asked the the government to transfer him to a well-equipped hospital as soon as possible.
Though the government allowed the Shi’ites leader to be treated in India, but the senior cleric decided to return to the country after allegedly being pressured in India.
In an official statement rejecting the government claims on why El-Zakzaky cut his treatment visit to India short, IMN said that the decision was made after it was found that Abuja was allegedly planning to murder the cleric in India.
El-Zakzaky was, from the very beginning of his travel to India, bothered and pressed by the hostile decision of the Nigerian government, according to a Friday statement by Ibrahim Musa, the president of the Media Forum of the IMN.
Continuing, the Shi’ites claimed that even upon returning from New Delhi, the top cleric was denied a chance to talk to newsmen who had been waiting for his return at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport for hours.
The IMN condemned the move, and added that it was intended to prevent Sheikh from revealing some realities about his difficulties in New Delhi, and to pave the way for spreading disinformation against him.
According to them, upon arriving in New Delhi, El-Zakzaky and his wife were separated from the doctors who accompanied him from Nigeria and were forcibly taken to a hospital which held no respect for the basic rights of patients, adding that even a doctor who had flown from London to New Delhi was not allowed to meet with the Sheikh.
Disturbingly, the Shi’ites are asserting that the Nigerian agents’ insistence on not allowing El-Zakzaky to meet with his doctors reassured the cleric and his wife that Abuja was planning to kill him in the Indian hospital with the help of their connections and operatives in the place.