Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky
Following the return of Shi’a leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, from a controversial medical trip to India on Friday, security has been beefed up in Abuja to forestall a possible breakdown of law and order by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
A detachment of security personnel were sighted patrolling the Nigeria capital city, even as there is a visible presence of Police, Army, Civil Defence Corps personnel as well as those in mufti believed to be men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
DAILY POST correspondent was also in Wuse II Abuja at noon on Friday, where hefty-looking police officers were seen in clusters fully armed for any eventualities around Banex Plaza which is a commercial nerve centre of the capital city.
A Police officer, who spoke with DAILY POST but declined to disclose his name, said, “Banex Plaza has been a flash-point of Shiites protesters”, adding that the IMN has been proscribed and they shouldn’t be any protest in that name.
“We read in the media of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiites accusing the government of Nigeria of their leader’s sudden return to Nigeria from India,” he told this newspaper under anonymity.
In a statement made available to a reporter in Abuja by the IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa on Thursday, the group accused the federal government of Nigeria of complicity in the treatment of the controversial Shi’a leader at the India hospital he was granted leave by the court to go for treatment.
Part of the statement read: “The impasse was sequel to refusal of the Sheikh to succumb to imposition of Medical treatment by the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with their Indian colleagues.
“The Nigerian government’s interference and scuttling of the whole process rather than supervision as ordered by the court is the direct cause of the impasse.
“The government never wanted the medical leave in the first place, and did whatever to stop it by all means possible.
“The Islamic Movement is completely not happy with the latest development, and we strongly believe any peace loving person in Nigeria feels the same.
“The government left no one in doubt that it never wanted the Sheikh to go for the medical treatment in the first place.
“They opposed the application in court. When the order went against them, they indicated their desire to appeal against it.
“When that wasn’t going to stop the journey, they attempted to prevent it via introduction of stringent conditions that were not put in place by the court.
“Having failed to stop using all these methods, they exploited the clear direction to “supervise” and went ahead to obstruct the medical treatment in New Delhi, India.
“Why would the Sheikh trust a government that killed thousands of his supporters including his sons, shot him and his wife and further exposed them to heavy metal poisoning?
“We pray to almighty Allah to continue to protect him from the enemies of peace, who were behind the Zaria genocide of December, 2015 and the subsequent extreme persecution and torture he is being subjected to.”