Sheikh Zakzaky’s health in serious decline
A group of Shia Muslims associated with the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has articualated concern over the deteriorating health conditions of renowned cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, demanding their immediate and unconditional release from detention.
The Academic Forum, a branch of the IMN mainly focusing on the intellectual, cultural, and civilizational betterment of the movement, has recently voiced serious concerns with the worsening health conditions of the 67-year-old Shia leader and his wife, Zinat, in a prison located in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna.
The group has stated that new information at its disposal indicated that bullets lodged in Zakzazy's skull and body during the December 2015 clash with Nigerian soldiers are posing a serious threat to his life.
“Available information reaching us revealed that the health condition of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zinat Ibrahim is seriously deteriorating,” Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, the Academic Forum’s spokesperson, remarked on Saturday.
"Our concern over the deteriorating health of Sheikh Zakzaky is growing, as a person with this critical condition is not supposed to remain in incarceration. How on earth will he continue to be in prison with bullet shrapnel causing more harm to an already worsening situation. This is not implausible that there are some sinister motives behind the regime’s insistence on keeping him in the highly congested jail in Kaduna. How else can the actions of the regime be explained,” he further remarked.
The Shia group’s spokesman also stated that the Nigerian government had stopped physicians from giving necessary medical assistance to the top Muslim cleric, saying that a team of doctors from India that came to Nigeria for the investigation and review of Zakzaky’s case were not allowed to pay him a vist.
“Take for instance the aborted trip to India. From the beginning, after the travel permit was granted by a court, moves were made by the government to frustrate it… The team of doctors that came to Nigeria for the investigation and review of his case were refused access to him. Instead they were substituted with very unusual set of unfamiliar doctors that acted in ways that caused the sheikh and his wife to become suspicious,” he remarked.
“It is obvious that the Sheikh's critical health condition has not been given the attention it so requires… His wife suffers from severe arthritis in her knee joints, which her doctors have said can only be treated with knee replacement surgery since at least three years ago. She also has loose fragments of bullet pieces in her abdominal area which cause a large number of episodes of periodic life-threatening complications with her organs,” Musa commented.
As of now, the Nigerian government has shown no indication that it might change its mind with regard to top Shia leader’s medically-urgent release.