The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has expressed concern about the health of their leader, Ibraheem Zakzaky, held in custody by the Department of State Security, DSS.
This was contained in a statement issued by President of Media Forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa in Kaduna.
Close relations of Zakzaky had over the week visited him at the DSS office in Abuja.
In the statement, the group warned it was in the interest of the Nigerian State to release him unconditionally to enable him attend to his heath.
“From the report of the close relations, the health of our leader has deteriorated further,” the statement said. “His left eye is in dire need of specialized medical attention.
“The doctor assigned to the Sheikh has reportedly given up on getting him back to its normal state. His left arm where he sustained gunshot wounds is still demobilized and the wounds are yet to heal.
“The Nigerian people are aware and the international community is aware that our leader has not been accused of committing any offence and has not been charged for one and has not been arraigned before any competent court of the land for the past eight months.”
“However it is the height of injustice to deny the Sheikh the best medical attention taking into consideration all that has been done to him, his family and millions of his followers. Of what benefit will it be to our nation if his health deteriorates beyond salvation?”
The statement added: “If at all the claim of the counsel to the DSS in a Federal High Court in Abuja that the Sheikh is in ‘protective custody’ is to be believed, then attention to his health should be of paramount importance to whoever is holding him hostage.
“Even though a glimpse of the report of the Judicial Commission of inquiry submitted to Kaduna state government has indicted the Army for its brutality against the Sheikh and his followers in Zaria, the least expected from the government is his release to us for proper medical attention. Refusal to do just this is an indication that the federal government has some ulterior motives and wants to keep him in custody and allow his health to deteriorate further.
“We would like to appeal to those that have the ears of this government, well meaning Nigerians and the international community to insist on the unconditional release of our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and all those detained with him in the aftermath of the Zaria carnage last December.”
Zakazky was arrested by the DSS after the deadly clash between the Shiites group, which he leads, and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, last year.
The Shi’ite leader is being charged with criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbances among others.