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Why Indian authorities repatriated El-Zakzaky, wife back to Nigeria

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The Indian authorities, on Friday, flew Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenat back to Nigeria, after an aborted medical treatment in India.

Narrating the reason behind El-Zakzaky’s sudden return, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Isu Gekpe, in a statement made available to newsmen, said that the cleric refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks after state officials resisted his pressure to hand over his International Passport to him.

It was also stated that El-Zakzaky requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star hotel instead of a hospital, and demanded free movement.

The statement read: “He also demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds, and also requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star Hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.

“That 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 for tourism.

“He also demanded that Police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities.

“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.

“The Nigerian government commended the stand of the Indian Government and also apologise to her for the ‘unruly behavior’ of El-Zakzaky.”

However, the IMN has since refuted the claim, explaining that its leader outrightly declined medical treatment in India on suspicion that the federal government was planning to kill him in India using its international connections.

The Spokesman of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement on Friday after the return of El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat to Nigeria, said: “Nigerian government had an ulterior motive it was nursing using its connections in India when it violated court order and interfered with the procedures of the Sheikh’s treatment.

“It is a well-known fact that the Nigerian authorities had tried all their antics to see that the Sheikh wasn’t given a medical leave. Distrustful of the Nigerian government’s offer of a jet to take him to the destination, having survived its attempts to poison and kill him while in detention, our leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky declined the offer and chose to pay for his trip through the Emirates Airline.”

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