The Federal Government has said that Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), who was taken to India for medical treatment, was frustrating the Indian hospital instead of subject himself to medical treatment.
The cleric, who was arrested in 2015 following a clash between his members and military personnel in Zaria, was granted bail on medical grounds, following a Kaduna High Court order on Aug. 5, 2019.
El-Zakzaky, along with wife, subsequently traveled to India, via Dubai, for medical treatment on Sunday, Aug. 12, after government and relevant agencies took steps to comply with the order.
But the Federal Government, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the religious leader was frustrating the authorities of the Indian hospital where he was to be treated.
In a statement titled “The true story on El-Zakzaky in India”, the government said that the cleric, who particularly chose Medanta Hospital, India for the treatment, had begun to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures.
The statement signed by Grace Isu Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, said that the cleric refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks after State officials resisted his pressure to handover his International Passport to him.
“He also demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds, and also requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star Hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.
“That request was rejected on the ground that he came into the country for medicals, and not as a tourist, especially with the Visa issued on medical grounds and not for tourism.
“He also demanded that Police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities.
“Against medical ethics and standard practice, he requested to nominate Doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.
“That demand created a stalemate as the Hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry the required medical treatment.
“Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect. This is on the account that they will not allow him use their country to internationalise his group’s activities.
“Against this background, the Nigerian government wishes to commend the stand of the Indian Government as well as apologise to her for the unruly behaviour of El-Zakzaky.
“Similarly, the attention of the public and, indeed, the international community, is hereby drawn to these unfortunate developments,” the statement said.
The statement affirmed government’s readiness to prosecute El-Zakzaky through due process if and when he is returned to the country, urging Nigerians to ignore his claims that he was being held in circumstances worse than he was in Nigeria.
Nigeria engages 89 new Foreign Service Officers
The Director of the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy, Dr Cyprian Heen, on Monday enjoined the academy’s new diplomat trainees to be prepared as Nigeria’s future ambassadors.
Heen gave the advice in Lagos at the assumption of the newly selected 89 Foreign Service Officers for the academy’s 24th Regular Course.
“Your coming to the academy marks the beginning of your Foreign Service career. After your successful graduation from here, you will be recognised as the ones in the shadow behind the powers that be in
the global interplay.
“As diplomat trainees, you are the future of Nigeria, you should not be flippant in your actions.
“I urge you to remain focused and highly committed to your studies throughout your stay at the academy. You must demonstrate the determination to excel without compromise,’’ he said.
Heen said that the trainees would be exposed to structure and administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic and consular relations, protocol practice and other courses.
The director, who lauded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ effort at reducing the academy’s challenges, also identified the institution’s current problems to include irregular power supply and poor funding.
Mr Murtala Abdullahi, a trainee from Kebbi, expressed optimism that the Course would provide him the opportunity to learn how to become a selfless Nigerian Ambassador in the future.
“I am here to learn and be prepared to truly become a good Ambassador for Nigeria in the future.
“I will ensure that I put in my best time and make my time worthwhile,’’ he said.
Ms Barbara Young, another diplomat trainee from Cross River, said that she was already convinced that the course would prepare her to become an outstanding Nigerian representative in the future.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
NYSC deploys 2,000 prospective corps members to Kwara
The orientation course will take place at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Yikpata, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara.
Mr Dipo Morakinyo, the NYSC Public Relations Officer in Kwara, via a statement issued on Monday in Ilorin, said that the orientation course would hold between Aug. 20 to Sept. 10.
He said the camp would be closed for registration on the midnight of Aug. 21, while the corps members would be sworn in on Thursday, Aug 22.
Morakinyo added that all logistics and other necessary materials needed to execute a hitch-free orientation exercise in the state have been adequately put in place.
According to him, the orientation camp is wearing a new look because most of the facilities have been given a face lift in preparation for the exercise.
“The camp has been properly cleared and fumigated against reptiles and mosquitoes,” he said.
Morakinyo added that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq would declare the orientation course open as well as deliver President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech.
“His Lordship, the Chief Judge of the state will also be at the ceremony to administer the oath of allegiance to the newly mobilised corps members.
“The NYSC management wishes to inform the press that about 300 camp officials will be on ground to execute the orientation programmes and activities, as directed by the NYSC National Directorate Headquarters, Abuja.
“The scheme also appeals to the good people of Kwara, to warmly receive the new corps members, who are just being deployed to the state for their one year mandatory national service,” Morakinyo said.
PDP, candidate pray tribunal to order fresh election in Nasarawa State
Counsel for the PDP, Mr Wale Olanikpekun, SAN, while adopting his final written addresses, alleged that INEC did not comply with the accreditation requirements in more than 90 per cent of the polling units in the state.
He said that they had tendered certified true copies of voter registers to the tribunal, adding, “the total votes that returned the governor did not tally with the number of accredited voters”
“If there is no compliance with the accreditation process, the law says that the election is invalid and should be declared as such.
“The election conducted on March 9 in Nasarawa state has not complied with the accreditation process, that is what we are holding unto.
“We want the tribunal to declare the election invalid and order a fresh election in the state,” he said.
Also adopting his final argument, Mr Hassan Liman and Mr Adebayo Adelogun, representing the APC and Sule, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.
They argued that the petitioners’ claims against the accreditation process were merely a figment of their imagination.
After listening to all arguments in the suit, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Abba Mohammed, reserved judgment in the matter.
“The tribunal will communicate to all the parties in the petition the day the judgment will be delivered,” Mohammed said.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Attack on Ekweremadu: Don asks IPOB to tender unreserved apology to Nigerians
A University don, Dr Bashir Yankuzu, on Monday, asked members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians over the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany, describing the incident as a global embarrassment to the country
He told the Nigeria News Agency in Minna, that no nation can grow or develop if its citizens have no respect for its leaders.
“It is a bad omen for Biafra if what IPOB did to the former deputy senate president is the kind of nation they are advocating and seeking for international support to establish.
“This act is totally uncivilised and condemnable. Surprisingly, Ekweremadu has told the world how he worked the release of someone who openly showed his disloyalty to united Nigeria, just because he is an Igbo.
“With the happenings now, it is evident that shielding someone from the law can never be a solution to our problems.
“Ironically, the senator was a one time deputy senate president of Nigeria, who should know better.
“It is for our collective interest that those of us loyal to united Nigeria show our patriotism and loyalty to our nation not minding where we come from.
“Unless we begin to see challenges of our country as ours and its successes as ours, I doubt if we can ever overcome the myriads of problems we are facing as a Nation.
“As for those advocating for a separate country, i think, they should be encouraged to channel what they need through proper channels.
“I believe for great number of us, this is better than people continuously engaging in acts that are not only embarrassing to themselves, but also to the remaining peace loving Nigerians”,he said.
World Humanitarian Day: CLO urges political, religious leaders to show love
Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has called on political and religious leaders to show love and empathy in order to improve humanitarian interventions in the country.
He said that Nigerians and the leaders need to improve humanitarian interventions by being selfless and by thinking about common good and interest of the people.
According to him, WHD is dedicated toward sharing, giving and showing love to unfortunate ones ravaged by wars, conflicts, injustice, man’s inhumanity against man and natural disasters.
“Truth can never be faulted, falsified or fortified.
“It is existential reality that the genesis of world humanitarian crisis is the unbridled quest for materialism and wealth acquisition by the political class and elites in the society to the detriment of the masses.
“The political class must think less about their interest. Rather they must think about common good, if we would certainly make our good better and our better best.
“Our political leaders must use their privilege positions to impact positively on the lives of the people and exhibit the best motive of doing good to one’s country and its citizens which is the essence of servant leadership,’’ he said.
Ezekwueme also called on Nigerians, especially the affluent and wealthy individuals to use this unique occasion to show love, empathy, kindness, generousity and compassion to humanity.
He, however, prayed for repose of the souls of all humanitarian aid workers who died in the course of rendering selfless services to humanity.
The UN has set aside Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day, with this year’s theme as: “Honouring of the work of women in crisis throughout the world ’’.
It is a day meant to create awareness of the plights, problems and predicaments of civilians around the world who had been caught up in conflicts.
It also attracts support for humanitarian workers who risk and sometime lose their lives in humanitarian works.