Stop involving Sheikh Zakzaky in your ‘unfortunate lies’, IMN replies Lai Mohammed

By Abiola David & Aisha Babangida Salisu 

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has replied the Nigerian minister of information Mr Lai Mohammed over his claims that its leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is being fed with N3.5million food monthly.

The minister’s claim triggered outraged from Nigerians who said the minister was apparently lying. 

The IMN said in a statement by its spokesperson Ibrahim Musa that the minister is either lying or exposing the corruption inherent in the leadership of the Department of State Securit (DSS).

The Nigerian security forces have killed about 500 Shiites since the December 2015 Zaria massacre when the IMN leader’s residence was raided, killing over 1000 of his followers.

He was arrested during the raid along side his wife, Zeenatuddeen, who are both having gunshots wounds. 

Human rights groups have accused the Nigerian government of killing the Shiites extrajudicially. 

The IMN said Mr Mohammed claims are laughable and treacherous because Sheikh Zakzaky is feeding himself where he is being held in custody of the secret police.

Here is the statement: 

Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, has fraudulently claimed that the Buhari regime spends 3.5 million Naira monthly or N115,000 daily as feeding expenses on the illegally detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. He made the claim on Wednesday, the same day a Kaduna court denied the Sheikh bail in a video that has gone viral, while addressing some journalists.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria believes that this is part of the grand deception of this administration to present a “human face” after it brutally slaughtered more than one thousand innocent and defenseless civilians in Zaria in December 2015. Let us also note that his 3 sons who were also in his residence were among those murdered in cold blood in his presence and buried in mass graves. The atrocity didn’t just stop at that. His residence was completely razed and later flattened.

This same government had also told the world through the Federal High Court in Abuja that the Sheikh didn’t do anything wrong, but they shot him and the wife and all the atrocities was only to protect him. The Court was not convinced and so ordered that he should be set free. The government reneged.

Now, they shamelessly lie to the world that they are “good” to him. 

Moreover when some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria met the Sheikh early last month, among the things he complained of is the poor feeding he is facing since transferred to Kaduna six months ago. Considering his age and failing health he deserves some special feeding arrangements, but those holding him custody have denied him that. This clearly shows that some security officers are looting public funds under the guise of keeping the Sheikh under ‘protective custody’ which a federal high court in Abuja has since declared illegal under the constitution.

Also, the Minister’s claim which he said is ‘off the record’ clearly exposes the corruption in the DSS. This figure could be true in their records, but they actually use that to loot public funds in the name of feeding the Sheikh, while in reality the Sheikh is the one catering for himself and buying all his domestic needs.

The N115,000 daily feeding claim by the Minister is similar to the case of Nigerian Prisons where the government claimed they spend N14,500:00 daily in feeding every individual prisoner in Nigeria. But a visit to the prison tells you that is all lies. The prisoner is malnourished and sick apart from living in congestion with absolutely zero hygiene.

We consider the statement of the Minister of information as an insult to the personality of our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. We advise the Minister to desist from involving the Sheikh in his unfortunate lies and for once tell Nigerians the actual truth that the government does not spend such amount on Sheikh Zakzaky.

We reiterate our call for the government to free Sheikh Zakzaky to enable him seek medical treatment abroad.