By Suleiman Umaru
Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Iran backed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, appears to have given the Federal government room to doubt his sincerity of actually seeking medical attention in the New Delhi, India, Hospital of Medanta, which was booked by him and all the necessary bills paid by the government in order to quickly commence treatment as soon as he gets there. The IMN leader may have deceived the government by his actions on getting to India.
This is because the same complaints of poor medical facilities he had raised against the Nigerian Hospital used for his treatment played out again in the Indian Hospital, an indication that that he has a plan to escape to any of the Arab countries sympathetic to his cause.
The IMN leader had described the Indian Hospital as ‘’pathetic and worrisome’’ in order to draw the international Community sympathy for himself. He may have got it wrong as the Hospital Authorities quickly found out his tricks and quickly kept him and the wife under close watch.
It was then that it dawned to them that his intention of insisting that he should be flown to India for medication was not really because of his deteriorating health but ostensible to use the Hospital to perfect plans to escape. He may have proved the Hospital Authorities right as he refused to allow the Doctors assigned to him to commence treatment.
His justification for the action was that before he left Nigeria for the Indian Hospital, it was agreed that his personal Physicians would supervise his treatment and that of Zeenat, the wife but that is not what they are getting. Describing the Doctors assigned for their treatment as ‘’strange men’’, he had vowed never to take any treatment from them without the supervision of his personal physicians, which the Hospital Doctors considered laughable.
Security watchers believe that the IMN leader may have been up to something as he had also complained of tight security around him at the Hospital . ‘’On getting to the Indian hospital , we were placed under a tighter security situation worse than what we had witnessed in Nigeria’’, he had said . The truth of the matter was that he wanted to be allowed Freedom of movement and to receive visitors at any given time which the Hospital Authorities were not not ready to grant him.
The Hospital Management at the instance of the Indian government are not ready to guarantee him for fear that he might escape. Note that the government had assigned some Department of State security, DSS, Operative to accompany him to the Indian hospital to monitor his movements and the visitors coming to see him .
He had considered the situation worrisome as he had accused the DSS personnel of conniving with foreign security agents, particular, the American CIA, to watch over him. Giving that his plans could not be executed that could have created a Diplomatic row between Nigerian and the Asian country . He had pleaded with the hospital Authorities to allow him return to Nigeria to enable him source for a more reliable and trusted hospital in Malaysia and the European country of Turkey , which he believes could help.
El –Zakzaky, the IMN , leader may have made people to believe that why the Medanta hospital did take his worsening health condition serious was because security agents believed to be working for the the United States government had perfected plans to frustrate his treatment.
Ii is not surprising why his followers are peddling the rumour both within and outside the country that the All Progressive Congress, APC, government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the American secret service are frustrating the medical treatment of their leader in the New Delhi Hospital, India.
The uncontrollable attitude of the IMN leader in faraway India may have become a source of worry to the government that it could no longer condone it but to allow the hospital to return him to Nigeria, where his facing trial. Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, ministry of Information and Culture may have spoken the mind of the Katsina born Nigeria President when she described the IMN lamentation as ‘’foul cry’’, that should be disregarded.
An angry Gekpe, disclosed that the Islamic Cleric started ‘’displaying his ulterior motives against laid down procedures when he and Zeenat, his wife, made a stopover in Dubai. She noted that the situation continued in India where he insisted he must be checked into a five star hotel instead of a hospital. He was said to have requested to be given unfettered access to visitors. He was said to have also requested that his international Passport which was seized from him by the DSS be returned.’’They were impossible demands’’, according to a security source.
He may have known that his case is a bad one that he decided to utilize any available opportunity to the draw the international Community to his condition. The Presidency may have been worried at the reports of the DSS personnel who had accompanied him to Indian for treatment that his behavior was not different from how the terrorists all over the world behave . This may have prompted the India government, the Nigerian security Operatives and the America secret agents to ensure that he was not given a moment chance which could cause great damage.
The Medanta hospital Authorities may have known that he is a security that they quickly acceded to his request to return him to Nigeria.
Ibrahim Musa , the IMN Spokesperson, who reportedly confirmed it said it was a personal decision based on lack of a ‘’breakthrough in the impasse that ensued with regard to the treatment of Shiite leader in the India hospital’’. According to him, the IMN leader was given two conditions to remain in the hospital either to commence the treatment on their own terms or the government terms or they will be sent back to Nigeria. He was said to have opted to be sent back to Nigeria, describing it as the ‘’best option for everybody’’.
Perhaps, to avoid a break down of Law and Order in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, with the planned return of the IMN leader, security was said to have been beefed up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internal Airport to avoid the infiltration of his followers into the Airport. His refusal to commence treatment in the Indian hospital may have caused caused the government a fortune. The government had paid for return ticket for him and the wife including the hospital bills. The duo were said to spent almost a week and three days in the hospital.
The government was said to have also paid for the return tickets of his is, personal Physicians, and the DSS, personnel, assigned to accompany the husband and wife to the Indian hospital including their hotel Accommodations and Estacodes, which many believe run into thousands of dollar which could have been channeled to other areas of the economy. The government may have undertaken this extra-budgetary expenditure because el-Zazaky and the wife are still facing trial and in DSS custody.