Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat have arrived in India for their medical treatment. They were received by medical doctors and wheeled into Medanta Hospital, New Delhi upon arrival yesterday.
This was as an Indian-based Muslim group, Anjuman e-Haideri, has said it will bear all medical costs incurred El-Zakzaky and his wife.
Zeenah, were on Monday flown out on medical leave to India where they are expected to undergo treatment for multiple health conditions.However, Anjuman e-Haideri Islamic group, in a letter signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Bahadur Naqvi, and addressed to the Managing Director and Chief Surgeon of Medanta Hospital, Dr. Naresh Trehan, offered to foot all the medical costs incurred by the El-Zakzakys in India.
It was gathered that before their departure to India, President Muhammadu Buhari had waved those conditions and approved that the IMN leader should proceed to get the medical attention as granted by the court and based on the advice from intelligence services.
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Security Service (DSS) who had been working behind the scene to resolve the impasse occasioned by the detention of Shiite leader have advised the presidency on the appropriateness of obeying the court orders since some foreign interests including the Iranian government have sought a diplomatic approach in managing the issue.
On Monday allowed a 10-man delegation accompanied El-Zakzaky and his wife to India on medical trip.
The delegation is made up of four IMN (Shiites) leaders and six security operatives. The IMN also spoke on El-Zakzaky’s trip.
An IMN member gave the names of its leader’s family members on the trip as Zainab and Hassan Bala. The name of the accompanying doctor was given simply as Rahamat. But the security operatives were not identified.
They flew out of the country on Emirates Commercial airliner, via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to India. The IMN leader and his wife are to receive medical attention for undisclosed health challenge.
Daily Asset gathered that the government opted for delegates from both sides to “ensure a transparent medical procedure.”
A top source said: “The government decided to allow four leaders/ members of the Shiites to follow El-Zakzaky to demonstrate its commitment to a fair and transparent medical procedure.
“The government did not want to leave any gap for misrepresentation of the medical treatment. All these delegates will be part of the process.
“The government felt there was need to build confidence between the two sides. This is a sensitive trip.”
It was also learnt that the Federal Government “mitigated the legal course, especially the conditions attached to the trip” based on security reports and to show good faith.
The source added: “The conditions set by the court were acceptable to both parties and the Federal Government deliberately mitigated further legal hurdles at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to show good faith.
“Security reports also indicated that there was no basis for dragging the legal issues on the conditions
It said the wife could only make it to the airport on a wheelchair.
The IMN gave the details in a statement by the Chairman, Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdurrahman Abubakar Yola.
The statement said: “The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife have at last just left Nigeria for India alongside some family members and security operatives.
“This followed the granting of the couple’s application for leave to seek medical attention in New Delhi, India last week by Justice Darius Khobo of Kaduna State High Court.
“In spite of the attempted efforts at frustrating this emergency medical journey by the Kaduna state government, which tried to unilaterally put conditions to the journey even though it lacked such powers, the journey has gone on without hitches.
“This emergency medical journey is consequent on the facts that both the Sheikh and his wife are known to be clearly very ill in detention, sequel to the brutal wounds unjustifiably inflicted on them by the state agents in the name of Nigerian army, the resultant prolonged dehumanising detention in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the obvious poisoning of the Sheikh.
“As a result of all these physical and psychological stress, the Sheikh suffered series of mild strokes and is at the risk of further recurrences.
“At the same time, he lost one eye following the military attack and is at a severe risk of losing his sight completely in the other. He is now found to have more than twenty times the toxic levels of lead poison in his body!
“Similarly, the wife has been under excruciating pains with shrapnel deeply lodged in her body for all these years of inhuman conditions in detention. She now is able to ambulate only with the use of a wheelchair, even to the airport.
“They have been battling ailments that could not be treated in Nigeria, as posited by the foreign medical experts that earlier in the year assessed their health condition. Undoubtedly, both risk losing their lives had the medical journey been further delayed or denied.
Niger Coup: CAN States Position on Military Intervention
….Position on Military Intervention
Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Economic Community Of West Africa States (ECOWAS) not to use military intervention to resolve the current crisis in Niger.
In a recent statement signed by the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the apex Christian association commended President Ahmed Tinubu, and other heads of ECOWAS for their unwavering commitment to discouraging coups d’état and the forceful takeover of power.
“We also applaud their commendable efforts in resolving the crisis currently faced by our neighbours in the Republic of Niger.
“CAN fully recognizes the gravity of the situation in Niger and the importance of upholding democratic principles, peace, and stability within the West African region. We believe that the peaceful resolution of conflicts is vital for the progress and well-being of our nations and our people.
“We applaud President Ahmed Tinubu for adopting a diplomatic approach in addressing the crisis by sending a high-level delegation, led by the eminent statesman General Abdulsalam Abubakar, to engage with the Nigerien authorities. This diplomatic overture demonstrates President Tinubu’s commitment to peaceful dialogue and his belief in the power of constructive engagement to foster understanding and resolve conflicts.
“Furthermore, we commend the inclusion of the esteemed Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, in the delegation. This representation showcases the unity of purpose and the collaborative spirit of Nigerian leaders, transcending religious and ethnic boundaries to jointly pursue peace in our region.
“CAN also commends the notable efforts of other prominent leaders, who have engaged with the Nigerien authorities in their personal capacities, leveraging private contacts. Their wisdom, experience, and counsel will undoubtedly contribute to the resolution of the crisis in Niger and the restoration of peace and stability in the region
“As an organization deeply committed to promoting justice, peace, and harmony, CAN urges Tinubu, to remain on the path of dialogue and avoid any form of military intervention or measures that would create enmity between the good people of Nigeria and Niger. We firmly believe that the path to lasting peace lies in upholding democratic processes, respecting the sovereignty of nations, and engaging in peaceful dialogue to address grievances and resolve conflicts.
“We implore all stakeholders involved in this matter to embrace peaceful negotiations, exercise restraint, and tirelessly work towards a sustainable resolution of the crisis in Niger. It is crucial to remember that peace is a collective responsibility, and only through joint efforts and unwavering commitment can we build a future of progress, stability, and prosperity for our nations, the statement read.
Cleric Urges Tinubu to Ensure Even Resource Distribution
Tony Obiechina, Abuja
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged to inclusively involve all segments of the country in his administration and ensure the equitable distribution of resources to address the citizens’ plight.
Reverend Babatunde Idowu, the District Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Wuse, Abuja, gave this advice during the Church’s 10th District Anniversary.
Reverend Idowu acknowledged that the current administration’s economic policy is commendable, but stressed the importance of appointing the right individuals to manage the proceeds from fuel subsidy removal.
He stated that only Nigerians who fear God and are committed to serving the nation should be engaged for such responsibilities.
The Cleric believes that when both leaders and the public act responsibly, divine intervention will lead to the country’s transformation.
Assistant Pastor of Foursquare Utako, Abuja, Mrs. Stella Eniola Huthman, appealed to women to fulfill their responsibilities, set examples, and foster peaceful households.
Pastor Stella Eniola attributed the current moral decline in society to the failure of some women in fulfilling their roles, urging them to contribute positively to building a better nation.
Deacon Samson Olorunda, Chairman of the anniversary committee, stated that the church would persistently pray for divine intervention to address the country’s challenges.
He assured that the church would remain dedicated to promoting peace and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The theme for the week-long program was “Much More Than This,” derived from the book of 2 Chronicles 25:9-10.
CAN Raises the Alarm Over Extreme Hardship Faced by Nigerians
By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that the increasing hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians due to recent hikes in fuel prices, school fees, and other essential expenses ignites worries.
In a statement issued by CAN President, Daniel Okoh, over the weekend, he urged the Federal Government to take immediate measures to alleviate the suffering in the country.
“While we acknowledge the complexities and difficult decisions taken by the government to manage the nation’s economy, there is an urgent need to prioritize measures that will alleviate, rather than exacerbate, the existing poverty level and hardships of Nigerians.
“The recent price hikes have placed an enormous burden on the already struggling masses, making it extremely difficult for them to afford the basic necessities of life,” the CAN President remarked.
He further advised the Federal Government to engage with critical stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to explore sustainable solutions to the current situation.
As part of the recommendations, Okoh stressed the importance of developing comprehensive economic policies that promote inclusive growth, job creation, and social well-being. He urged the government to focus on diversifying the economy, reducing dependency on volatile commodities, and promoting investments in sectors with the potential to create sustainable employment opportunities. These measures, according to him, would not only bolster economic resilience but also enhance the overall well-being of citizens.
“The fuel subsidy palliatives being considered by the government should go beyond cash transfers and should include the introduction of mass transport across states to reduce the cost of transportation. The multiplier effect of this will be profound,” Okoh emphasized.
Additionally, the CAN President called for measures to reduce the price of fuel, including the removal of unnecessary levies and taxes on imported petroleum products, stabilization of the foreign exchange market, and the restoration of local refineries to functional and effective use.
“While we understand that there is no gain without pain, the pain must not be unbearable,” he added.
Appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience with the government, Okoh urged everyone to work together to build an inclusive and resilient economy that offers opportunities for every Nigerian to thrive.
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