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OPINION

The El-Zazakky Circus Show In India

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After several pleas and pressures from Nigerians, leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibrahim El-Zazakky was granted a medical bail by a Kaduna High Court.

It is instructive to note that the Shiite leader and his wife have been in detention since December 2015 after his members clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai in Zaria.

I have written severally on this page on the need to grant El-Zazakky bail and find a political solution to his situation because his continued detention is not helping anybody.

Expectedly, IMN members took to the street and their protest turned violent as lives were lost. Residents of the Federal Capital Territory were living in palpable fear as the protests were getting more violent as they were fears that the group may metamorphise into an insurgent group if their leader dies in prison.

Consequently, the federal government proscribed the activities of the group by declaring them a terrorist organisation which in my opinion amount to killing a fly with a sledge hammer. Granted, the Shiite members are unruly and irritants but labelling them a terrorist group is an overkill.

Common sense prevailed and the Kaduna High Court granted a medical bail to the IMN leader much to the relief of Nigerians .

However, the circus show by El-Zazakky in India leaves much to be desired.The IMN leader perhaps mistook his medical bail for medical tourism and was demanding a five star treatment. Maybe he overrated his importance or he thought India will be a Mecca of sorts where he will be attending to all visitors.

When El-Zakakky was leaving for India, the picture and video we saw was of someone on life support and may die any moment. When he landed in India, he made a video and I saw a healthy man complaining. Maybe there was something about the air in India, the El-Zazakky I saw on that video was not looking like someone on life support.

Granted, the man may be sick but it is not as bad as what the IMN spin doctors may want us to believe. His ego and insistence on not being treated was in a bad taste. With this stunt, El-Zazakky and his followers have lost millions of sympathisers.

The IMN spin doctors should spare us the tale that the government wanted to kill El-Zazakky in India, that’s a scene out of tales by moonlight.

Wether they like it or not, IMN have lost public sympathy with this latest stunt and they are no longer in a position to be making demands.

I am even tempted to believe the government’s assertions that El-Zazzaky wanted to seek Asylum in India and when he realised the Indian government will not play ball, he decided to return to Nigeria.

The IMN should also perish the thought of resuming their violent protest in Anuja as they have lost the locus standi to protest.

The federal government right now has two options – grant El-Zazakky bail to return to his house in Zaria which to me is a safer option or let the court fast track his trial so that this impasse can be resolved once and for all.

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