RNA - “From a rare visit to our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, it has been confirmed to us that his health has suffered a severe knock in the past two days, such that he is critically ill and in urgent need of the best medical attention possible,” a statement from Ibrahim Musa, President of the movement’s media forum, said, Daily Trust reported.
He added that the movement has “seen this coming because of his (Zakzaky) age – almost clocking 67 years, and the several gunshots wounds he sustained during the murderous attack on his home by the military in December 2015.
He said the scholar’s followers are agitated by the latest development, adding that “We are deeply concerned and disenchanted by the attitude of this administration towards our peaceful protests and demands that the sheikh and his wife be released as ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja."
“It seems those holding our leader captive are just waiting for time to kill him since Allah has rescued him from their attempt to kill him using their military might,” he added.
The movement said the fact that for the past two years “our sheikh has endured all the mental and physical torture he has been subjected to by the Buhari administration is enough a miracle from Allah the Almighty.
“He has been shot at close range, for him to die, but he survived it. He has been denied proper medical care, but he still carries on. A vigorous campaign of calumny against him has been mounted by his detractors, but he still enjoins the tumultuous support and sympathy of millions of people. This is a miracle they don’t want to admit, but which is very clear to all discerning people,” it stressed.
The statement underlined that “The Islamic Movement do hereby unequivocally call on the federal government to listen to the voice of reason and release our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky to go and look after his failing health. It is foolhardy for the government while being contemptuous of a court order releasing him; he is denied access to a better health care.”
The movement is also “appealing to people of conscience, human rights organisations and the international community to prevail upon this administration to tread the path of caution and justice and pave way for our leader to go and look after his health properly. Nothing short of this will calm our frayed nerves.
“Peaceful protests were held to sensitise the public of our plight in various cities across the country on Sunday, January 7, 2018. More are coming until our demands are met,” it underscored.
The Nigerian army attacked two religious centers of the country's Shiite community in December 2015, killing hundreds of defenseless civilians there, while a few hours later, the military arrested Sheikh Zakzaky after raiding his house and killing three of his sons, assistants and followers.
Political activists said later that the Nigerian army forces buried and set fire on the corpses of those Shiite Muslims who had been killed during the recent raids in Zaria region.
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have also demanded setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the killings of their colleagues in Zaria, while, according to a report, the Army discriminately shot dead as many as 347 Muslims while swooping on the followers of the country’s leading Shiite cleric.