Shiites Demand Lifting Of Travel Ban On Leader, El-Zakzaky, Wife By Buhari’s Government


Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, have demanded the immediate lifting of a travel ban placed on their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Despite a court acquitting the couple of several charges including disrupting public peace, as brought against them by the government, the regime has continued to hold on to their passports, thereby preventing El-Zakzaky and his wife from seeking urgent medical care abroad.





In a statement by Mubarak Zakariyya on behalf of the Academic Forum of the group, the IMN said that the travel ban on the couple was a violation of their human rights as guaranteed under the constitution.
The statement reads, “We would like to inform the public of the new threat being plotted by the Buhari-led regime to the life of our leader, His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky. 
“The sheikh and his wife, Malama Zeenah, are suffering from numerous health challenges that cannot be treated in Nigeria. Despite this situation, tyrant Buhari has placed a travel ban on the couple and seized their passports.   
“The public are fully aware of the Zaria massacre executed from December 12 to 14, 2015. It was an ‘all-out-war’ to eliminate the sheikh and dislodge the Islamic movement under his distinguished tutelage once and for all.
“The Nigerian Army under Buhari’s direct command invaded the Husainiyyah along Sokoto Road, the Dambo-film-village-farmyard-cum-martyrs’ graveyard and Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s Gyallesu residence, all in Zaria. They killed 1000+ followers of his and set the house ablaze.
“Against all odds, the prime target, his wife and several other family members survived the arson and all that attack. Yet, no sooner had four soldiers ‘discovered’ the whereabouts of the survivors in a laundry room than they started to rain bullets on them, instantly killing three of his sons, leaving the Sheikh and his wife ‘waiting to die’ from the lethal gunshot wounds. But the duo are still alive with multiple health complications, very much in need of urgent medical attention.  
“In the aftermath of the Zaria massacre, it was obvious that the army connived with Mr Nasiru El-Rufai to dump all those who were extra-judicially killed and many in their last gasps in various mass graves. The popular one being at Mando, on the outskirts of Kaduna. They used bulldozers to level the remains of the Gyallesu burnt residence and equally demolished structures associated with the sheikh including his mother’s house where she is buried at Jushi Zaria. What a huge crime against humanity.
“Ever since the massacre, the sheikh and his wife have been battling with life-threatening health complications. The couple sought their fundamental rights at the High Court of Justice and the court unconditionally discharged and acquitted them with compensation in their favour in December 2016. Again, Buhari did not only make contempt of the court ruling by refusing to release them but also instituted an illegal case using el-Rufai as a proxy. The prosecution filed fabricated charges that involved culpable homicide punishable by death as they aimed to accomplish by court what they could not through the barrel of a gun.
“While in detention awaiting trial, there was also the issue of urgent medical treatment abroad. After incessant calls, protests and counsel arguments, the authorities reluctantly acquiesced to the medical trip to India for the prosecution to continue after the couple’s return to Nigeria. Unfortunately, the Nigerian authorities hijacked the whole process by trying to use doctors in India. Realising that their sinister plan was botched, the regime quickly boarded the couple back and then put the oppressed patients behind bars immediately thereafter.
“Justice was delayed and prolonged for more than five years but at last the court discharged and acquitted the sheikh and his wife in July 2021. Following the court triumph, their immediate preoccupation has been to cater for their medical needs abroad but their passports have been denied for almost nine months running now. Once more, they have to resort to the court but still, the authorities continue to trample on the court procedures, causing unnecessary delay.
“Buhari woefully failed by using the barrel of a gun, and equally through trumped-up charges in the court. However, the Buhari-led regime perseveres in its attempt at pushing the contract to kill Sheikh El-Zakzaky to a success. Thus, the powers that are keep on victimising the sheikh along with his wife as their passports are gratuitously denied so as to deprive them of travelling overseas for proper medication. 
“It is pertinent the public note that the freedom of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife is still being denied. Isn’t it such flagrant abuse of their fundamental rights to life? General Buhari would definitely be held responsible for anything that befalls the couple; and certainly, we cannot afford to sit at home while the rights of our leader are being abused. After patiently waiting for nine months, we have no option but to return to the streets of Abuja to protest this unholy conspiracy. 
“In view of the foregoing, we demand the unconditional removal of the travel ban and release of the couple’s passports.”



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