By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja
The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky yesterday spoke from the custody of the Department of State Security, DSS, saying that he was hale and hearty. The disclosure came on the heels of rumours that he has passed on in detention.
El-Zakzaky spoke for the first time in two years after security agents arrested him in December 2015.
The leader of the Islamic Movement who walked towards the journalists in a white flowing gown with a turban, started the conversation in form of a joke.
After a clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army, which the Shiites claimed led to the killing of about 800 people in Zaria, mostly their members, was arrested alongside his wife and kept incommunicado, ever since.
Speaking briefly at the DSS facility in Abuja, yesterday El- Zakzaky said his health condition has improved and thanked the security agents for the kind treatment being extended to him.
“I am feeling better. The security officers have allowed me to see my doctor, my personal doctor. I thank God. I am improving,” he told journalists.
When probed further, he told newsmen, “I thank you for all your prayers.”
There have been series of protest by the Shiites members in different cities of the country calling for unconditional release of their leader and his wife, especially against the background of court rulings that ordered his release.
Many of his followers were arrested with him, and many have also been arrested afterwards as a result of their protests, while others are facing court charges with him since the December 2015 clash with the Nigerian Army. For instance, 53 of his followers were arrested in Abuja last week Wednesday by the police during their protest.
Recently, there were serious concerns over the health condition of the Shiites leader with serious suspicion that he has died in detention as a result of ill health.
The Department of State Services officials in a bid to clear the air on Friday stated that El-Zakzaky was alive and hale and hearty.
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