An advocacy group, Concerned Abuja Indigenes, has warned that the prolonged seizure of the international passports of the supreme leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, by the authorities would lead to street protests that are capable of throwing Nigeria’s capital city into chaos.
The leader of CAI, Mr Ayedo Abdul, who raised the alarm at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, said the government’s alleged denial of the couple an opportunity to seek medical attention abroad has undermined their health and fundamental human rights.
According to the group, the non-release of their travel documents seven months after they were discharged and acquitted by the Kaduna State High Court would trigger a massive uproar that is capable of turning the FCT into what he called a “battleground.”
He said, “The unjust treatment of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife by the government has not stopped. Instead, more ways are being followed to oppress them unjustifiably.
“Seven months on, yet the government illegally denies them their International passports with which they could go abroad for their treatment. This is in total violation of their rights to freedom of movement and medication as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that grants all citizens the right to freedom of movement, including entry and exit.
“We urge the Federal Government to release Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s passport along with his wife’s to enable them to travel to the hospital of their choice in order to avoid the return to the street protests by his supporters which turned Abuja from the city it used to be to seemingly a battleground.
“As a result of the police brutality against the free El-Zakzaky protesters, many businesses were disrupted, and lives lost on numerous occasions, including two journalists, a police officer, many protesters and even some of our members.
“Failure to release Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s and his wife’s international passports by the Buhari-led administration will push us to the street before his followers.”