Journalism of Courage

El-Zakzaky chose Indian hospital, says Group

A non-partisan, public policy and good governance group in Nigeria, the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD), has stressed that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), chose the hospital which he hurriedly ditched to return to Nigeria on Friday.

The group recalled a Press Statement by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Isu Gekpe, revealing that it was the cleric who made the choice, just like he also indicated in his request to the Court.

The group further dismissed insinuations that the Federal Government had anything to do with his choice of the hospital.

The President of the group, Peter Oladele, in a press statement on Friday, said the Nigeria Shiite leader and the IMN are only trying to be mischievous by politicising his abrupt return to Nigeria.

“The facts are there and they are clear, Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his lawyers picked the Medanta Hospital so he has no reasons to complain.

He stressed that the Permanent Secretary, said the Indian authorities were vexed by the unruly behaviour of El-Zakzaky, as he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks after officials resisted pressure to give him his international passport.

Quoting Mrs Gekpe, he said, “He demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds and also requested to be allowed to be checked into a five star hotel instead of being admitted in a hospital.

“The request was rejected on the ground that he came into the country for medicals, and not as a tourist, especially with the visa issued on medical grounds and not tourism.

“Against medical ethics and standard practice, he requested to nominate doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.

“That demand created a stalemate as the hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry the required medical treatment.

“Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect. This is on the account that they will not allow him use their country to internationalise his group’s activities.”

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