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El-Zakzaky's Comic Dance In India By Abraham Otigba

El-Zakzaky's Comic Dance In India By Abraham Otigba

By Abraham Otigba

Nollywood, Nigeria's home movie industry is getting enriched every day, with new actors and actresses. I love it's comedy brand passionately because of it's exhilarating treats.

When ace comedy  actors like Nkem Owoh,. Francis Odega, Mr. Ibu ( John Okafor) and the real stamp of comedy, Sam Loco ( of blessed memory)  and so forth, perform their "miracles"  on stage, I know God has blessed Nigeria.

These comic actors are "crooks," because they quietly steal both my money and laughter, even in depressive moods,  very nicely.

I am happy for the inventors of Nollywood. At least, they have made a bold statement that Nigeria  has not failed completely  in every spectrum  of life. None of us can deny that Nigeria's entertainment industry is booming and creating waves globally.

Nollywood bristles with new entrants every minute; the formal and informal actors do not hesitate to congregate on our souls on humourous soul refreshing trips. I enjoy it extremely.

Consequently, the  nest of Nollywood  has kept expanding for the entertainment  of Nigerians. The latest informal entrant or sign- up actor  into Nollywood's world is Shiek Ibraheem EL-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, (IMN) popularly known as the  Shiites in Nigeria.

We are aware of the nasty tales surrounding EL- Zakzaky and his  extremists  adherents  in Nigeria. Nigerians know about the lawful incaceration of EL- Zakzaky and his wife as accomplices  for alleged  serious crimes against the state.

This spiritual leader of the Shiites sect has enviable guts. EL- Zakzaky dared both the FGN and the Kaduna State Government in devilry confrontations, dismissing the anger of Government as hogwash.

But queerly, EL- Zakzaky and his followers believe  in the  creeds  of the government of a foreign country, the Republic of Iran and it's terrorists overlords in the Middle East. They hold it as sacrosanct.

Needless to  say, EL- Zakzaky and his wife, who have been under lawful custody and undergoing court  trials for alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace  and order,  claimed multiple ailments while under custody. The charges against them are  as many as the  strands of hair.

Many deaths  and destructions to public and private  properties  in Nigeria are directly or remotely allegedly linked to  EL- Zakzaky, the  Shiites  spiritual leader.  And his trial is only but gathering momentum now. The FGN is sorting it out with him at the Appeal Court; while  the Kaduna State Government is  also resolving some knotty issues with him at the State High Court.

So,  the IMN leader and his wife applied to the court seeking permission  to travel abroad for medical attention on the grounds of deteriorating health condition. And a Kaduna State High Court days back granted EL-Zakzaky and his wife leave to travel to India for medical treatment under certain conditions and  tight security.

EL- Zakzaky's friend and counsel, Femi Falana who filed the application for medical leave  nourished it by painting a graphically pathetic health condition of EL-Zakzaky and the wife.  Personally, I was not opportuned to  see  the IMN leader while in detention.

But  the imageries  of EL- Zakzaky's  ill-health as  portrayed by Falana  made some of us weep at the "cruelty," of Government.  Media photographs of him on the day he was released for the medical trip somewhat convinced some of us the severity of his medical afflictions.

Falana convinced the court into granting the application by insistently articulating that medical doctors in Nigeria have confirmed, EL- Zakzaky has already  lost an eye in detention, which implied partial blindness. And the second eye  may be lost to advanced glaucoma, if no care is given to his health condition.

El-Zakzaky covenanted with the court to  return to Nigeria , with his wife as soon as the Indian  hospital discharged them after treatment.

Falana, SAN also  listed other "threatening" health conditions affecting the IMN leader. And some  Nigerians  wailed; and  the Shiites sect members kicked violently.

The ante was pushed higher for EL- Zakzaky by an assemblage of 186  medical doctors  from seven countries namely  – Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. These are countries which pride as the bedrock and hubs of global terrorism. I am still trying to reconcile what motivated them into the empathy for the IMN leader.

But the coalition of medical doctors  wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari drumming that  EL-Zakzaky’s  physical conditions demands that  the Nigerian government  transfers  him to a well-equipped hospital for treatment.

The  medical doctors argued in part;  "He  ( EL- Zakzaky) is suffering from a total blindness in the left eye, and is also suffering from vision problems in the right eye including glaucoma and progressive macular atrophy."

They cautioned that EL- Zakzaky,  "will lose his vision sooner or later if the current circumstances do not change. He has shown symptoms of Ischemic heart disease which can lead to Myocardial Infraction." It sounded frightening to me.

But ironically, it turned out to be fluke and a movie scripted and acted by the IMN  leader. I remember during arguments for his release for medical treatment, a defence counsel  opposed it, positing that EL-Zakzaky's ailment is treatable in Nigeria. But the court thought otherwise and granted the order.

But the moment of truth came sooner. You know, it's deceptive to believe  the actors world. The stage is quite different from reality and they care to warn us about their fictional content as merely acting or reflecting what they think of the world. Only an excursion into their minds reveals the real motive for the actions.

So, I was not surprised that  EL-Zakzaky who opted for treatment in  Medanta  Hospital, India  began to manifest early  symptoms of distrust in Dubai,  even before  reaching India.

And in India, a man portrayed as very sick, partially blind and in some sense, a " walking corpse,"  physically unfit to stand trial had  almost  water-proof initiatives to break approved procedures for his movement and diplomatically scuttle his treatment and divert attention away from him.

A purportedly severely sick EL-Zakzaky and too frail to appear in Nigerian courts to defend allegations against him became very strong and dubiously calculative, craving to outsmart the security details around him.

Like my comedy movies idol, Sam Loco who connived with his wife and children to  feign death in one of his classics to extort condolence money from friends and family members; in India EL- Zakzaky refused to subject himself to preliminary medical examination; preferred lodging in a five-star hotel, instead of the hospital.

The IMN leader also requested that  his international passport in the possession of state officials  be handed over to him. Quite strange to the behavior of a very sick person as portrayed, EL-Zakzaky demanded  freedom for free movement and access to assorted  visitors all over the world and the withdrawal of Indian  Police protection from him.

The state officials detailed around  him are nice guys. They rejected all his requests. They sensed a sinister intention.

The trickish IMN leader was  still not  convinced that his ulterior motives for hiding under the guise of medical treatment to hoodwink the Court in Nigeria to grant his application for medical treatment. So, he took one more delve in the waters of luck.

EL-Zakzaky then demanded nomination of doctors of his choice to pair up with their colleagues at Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife. The demand was  in contravention of medical ethics and standard practice and so, dismissed. Everyone turned cold and amazed  at his calculative shrewdness.

Both the Indian doctors and Nigerian State officials on the trip with El-Zakzaky were shocked at the miraculous recovery of a very "sick," man whom many feared in the last two weeks,  could die  any minute, if denial of medical attention is sustained. And he was personally contriving and working out these subversive or dodgy schemes.

I was motivated into this comic commentary on EL- Zakzaky because a tweet from a bemused African, Kikute thrilled me. Probably, Kikute also keenly monitored the EL-Zakzaky saga and laughed at the turn of events.

Kikute wrote on his Twitter: “Zakzaky walked. He talked. He glanced at his wristwatch and said the time. He is seeing clearly with his two eyes. Zakzaky is not sick. Baba Falana...nooooooo."

I know, India is a no nonsense country. And when  the IMN leader thought he could blackmail the Indian Government when his plots to use India as his escape plank to evade justice failed, he embarked on the familiar grandstanding we know  in Nigeria.

So, he cried out comically and coated it with the finesse of " refusing treatment from unknown doctors." He never bulged to the ultimatum issued him by the Indian Government to accept  treatment or be returned back to Nigeria. It is the first time in my lifetime,  a man supposedly  on a dying bed still retains the senses of dictating which doctors should treat him. Only  in movies it is  possible!

By now, EL- Zakzaky must have been flown back to Nigeria. But deep down in his heart, he knows feigning the gravity of his ailment.

The Court application for medical treatment was designed to open a window for the IMN leader to escape justice. What else can I fathom outside that  while in India,  medication became secondary agenda; and  he had his eyes fixed on the comfort of  luxuriating in the urban cities and countrysides  of India,  outside the confines of the hospital.

Next to it, was how to perfect his plot of asylum in India, intent on relocating to another country in the nearest future in total disregard for international procedures. EL-Zakzaky  clandestinely initiated contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in India as well as some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and other Shiite groups to execute this agenda.

The personalities and groups were mandated to procure  the leave of a court in India to grant the IMN leader leave to relocate to another  country, instead of returning to Nigeria. He know it was impossible under the terms and conditions  the court permitted him  to travel for medication, but he nonetheless, acted it. But the Indian Government avoided the IMN leader like a plague and  frustrated  his plots  to discreetly use India as a platform to internationalise  his IMN version of Shiites sect.

Therefore, welcome back to Nigeria EL- Zakzaky! The proposed  blockbuster comedy  movie production abroad is over. What you had was a rehearsal and time to act the final script is now in Nigeria by facing the courts to defend the allegations against you. It is a settled  matter because the IMN leader  has recovered  from sickness superbly.  How I wish my friend Sam Loco were  alive to fete his exact replica.

Otigba is a forensic psychologist and wrote from University of Lagos.
By Abraham Otigba

Nollywood, Nigeria's home movie industry is getting enriched every day, with new actors and actresses. I love it's comedy brand passionately because of it's exhilarating treats.

When ace comedy  actors like Nkem Owoh,. Francis Odega, Mr. Ibu ( John Okafor) and the real stamp of comedy, Sam Loco ( of blessed memory)  and so forth, perform their "miracles"  on stage, I know God has blessed Nigeria.

These comic actors are "crooks," because they quietly steal both my money and laughter, even in depressive moods,  very nicely.

I am happy for the inventors of Nollywood. At least, they have made a bold statement that Nigeria  has not failed completely  in every spectrum  of life. None of us can deny that Nigeria's entertainment industry is booming and creating waves globally.

Nollywood bristles with new entrants every minute; the formal and informal actors do not hesitate to congregate on our souls on humourous soul refreshing trips. I enjoy it extremely.

Consequently, the  nest of Nollywood  has kept expanding for the entertainment  of Nigerians. The latest informal entrant or sign- up actor  into Nollywood's world is Shiek Ibraheem EL-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, (IMN) popularly known as the  Shiites in Nigeria.

We are aware of the nasty tales surrounding EL- Zakzaky and his  extremists  adherents  in Nigeria. Nigerians know about the lawful incaceration of EL- Zakzaky and his wife as accomplices  for alleged  serious crimes against the state.

This spiritual leader of the Shiites sect has enviable guts. EL- Zakzaky dared both the FGN and the Kaduna State Government in devilry confrontations, dismissing the anger of Government as hogwash.

But queerly, EL- Zakzaky and his followers believe  in the  creeds  of the government of a foreign country, the Republic of Iran and it's terrorists overlords in the Middle East. They hold it as sacrosanct.

Needless to  say, EL- Zakzaky and his wife, who have been under lawful custody and undergoing court  trials for alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace  and order,  claimed multiple ailments while under custody. The charges against them are  as many as the  strands of hair.

Many deaths  and destructions to public and private  properties  in Nigeria are directly or remotely allegedly linked to  EL- Zakzaky, the  Shiites  spiritual leader.  And his trial is only but gathering momentum now. The FGN is sorting it out with him at the Appeal Court; while  the Kaduna State Government is  also resolving some knotty issues with him at the State High Court.

So,  the IMN leader and his wife applied to the court seeking permission  to travel abroad for medical attention on the grounds of deteriorating health condition. And a Kaduna State High Court days back granted EL-Zakzaky and his wife leave to travel to India for medical treatment under certain conditions and  tight security.

EL- Zakzaky's friend and counsel, Femi Falana who filed the application for medical leave  nourished it by painting a graphically pathetic health condition of EL-Zakzaky and the wife.  Personally, I was not opportuned to  see  the IMN leader while in detention.

But  the imageries  of EL- Zakzaky's  ill-health as  portrayed by Falana  made some of us weep at the "cruelty," of Government.  Media photographs of him on the day he was released for the medical trip somewhat convinced some of us the severity of his medical afflictions.

Falana convinced the court into granting the application by insistently articulating that medical doctors in Nigeria have confirmed, EL- Zakzaky has already  lost an eye in detention, which implied partial blindness. And the second eye  may be lost to advanced glaucoma, if no care is given to his health condition.

El-Zakzaky covenanted with the court to  return to Nigeria , with his wife as soon as the Indian  hospital discharged them after treatment.

Falana, SAN also  listed other "threatening" health conditions affecting the IMN leader. And some  Nigerians  wailed; and  the Shiites sect members kicked violently.

The ante was pushed higher for EL- Zakzaky by an assemblage of 186  medical doctors  from seven countries namely  – Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. These are countries which pride as the bedrock and hubs of global terrorism. I am still trying to reconcile what motivated them into the empathy for the IMN leader.

But the coalition of medical doctors  wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari drumming that  EL-Zakzaky’s  physical conditions demands that  the Nigerian government  transfers  him to a well-equipped hospital for treatment.

The  medical doctors argued in part;  "He  ( EL- Zakzaky) is suffering from a total blindness in the left eye, and is also suffering from vision problems in the right eye including glaucoma and progressive macular atrophy."

They cautioned that EL- Zakzaky,  "will lose his vision sooner or later if the current circumstances do not change. He has shown symptoms of Ischemic heart disease which can lead to Myocardial Infraction." It sounded frightening to me.

But ironically, it turned out to be fluke and a movie scripted and acted by the IMN  leader. I remember during arguments for his release for medical treatment, a defence counsel  opposed it, positing that EL-Zakzaky's ailment is treatable in Nigeria. But the court thought otherwise and granted the order.

But the moment of truth came sooner. You know, it's deceptive to believe  the actors world. The stage is quite different from reality and they care to warn us about their fictional content as merely acting or reflecting what they think of the world. Only an excursion into their minds reveals the real motive for the actions.

So, I was not surprised that  EL-Zakzaky who opted for treatment in  Medanta  Hospital, India  began to manifest early  symptoms of distrust in Dubai,  even before  reaching India.

And in India, a man portrayed as very sick, partially blind and in some sense, a " walking corpse,"  physically unfit to stand trial had  almost  water-proof initiatives to break approved procedures for his movement and diplomatically scuttle his treatment and divert attention away from him.

A purportedly severely sick EL-Zakzaky and too frail to appear in Nigerian courts to defend allegations against him became very strong and dubiously calculative, craving to outsmart the security details around him.

Like my comedy movies idol, Sam Loco who connived with his wife and children to  feign death in one of his classics to extort condolence money from friends and family members; in India EL- Zakzaky refused to subject himself to preliminary medical examination; preferred lodging in a five-star hotel, instead of the hospital.

The IMN leader also requested that  his international passport in the possession of state officials  be handed over to him. Quite strange to the behavior of a very sick person as portrayed, EL-Zakzaky demanded  freedom for free movement and access to assorted  visitors all over the world and the withdrawal of Indian  Police protection from him.

The state officials detailed around  him are nice guys. They rejected all his requests. They sensed a sinister intention.

The trickish IMN leader was  still not  convinced that his ulterior motives for hiding under the guise of medical treatment to hoodwink the Court in Nigeria to grant his application for medical treatment. So, he took one more delve in the waters of luck.

EL-Zakzaky then demanded nomination of doctors of his choice to pair up with their colleagues at Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife. The demand was  in contravention of medical ethics and standard practice and so, dismissed. Everyone turned cold and amazed  at his calculative shrewdness.

Both the Indian doctors and Nigerian State officials on the trip with El-Zakzaky were shocked at the miraculous recovery of a very "sick," man whom many feared in the last two weeks,  could die  any minute, if denial of medical attention is sustained. And he was personally contriving and working out these subversive or dodgy schemes.

I was motivated into this comic commentary on EL- Zakzaky because a tweet from a bemused African, Kikute thrilled me. Probably, Kikute also keenly monitored the EL-Zakzaky saga and laughed at the turn of events.

Kikute wrote on his Twitter: “Zakzaky walked. He talked. He glanced at his wristwatch and said the time. He is seeing clearly with his two eyes. Zakzaky is not sick. Baba Falana...nooooooo."

I know, India is a no nonsense country. And when  the IMN leader thought he could blackmail the Indian Government when his plots to use India as his escape plank to evade justice failed, he embarked on the familiar grandstanding we know  in Nigeria.

So, he cried out comically and coated it with the finesse of " refusing treatment from unknown doctors." He never bulged to the ultimatum issued him by the Indian Government to accept  treatment or be returned back to Nigeria. It is the first time in my lifetime,  a man supposedly  on a dying bed still retains the senses of dictating which doctors should treat him. Only  in movies it is  possible!

By now, EL- Zakzaky must have been flown back to Nigeria. But deep down in his heart, he knows feigning the gravity of his ailment.

The Court application for medical treatment was designed to open a window for the IMN leader to escape justice. What else can I fathom outside that  while in India,  medication became secondary agenda; and  he had his eyes fixed on the comfort of  luxuriating in the urban cities and countrysides  of India,  outside the confines of the hospital.

Next to it, was how to perfect his plot of asylum in India, intent on relocating to another country in the nearest future in total disregard for international procedures. EL-Zakzaky  clandestinely initiated contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in India as well as some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and other Shiite groups to execute this agenda.

The personalities and groups were mandated to procure  the leave of a court in India to grant the IMN leader leave to relocate to another  country, instead of returning to Nigeria. He know it was impossible under the terms and conditions  the court permitted him  to travel for medication, but he nonetheless, acted it. But the Indian Government avoided the IMN leader like a plague and  frustrated  his plots  to discreetly use India as a platform to internationalise  his IMN version of Shiites sect.

Therefore, welcome back to Nigeria EL- Zakzaky! The proposed  blockbuster comedy  movie production abroad is over. What you had was a rehearsal and time to act the final script is now in Nigeria by facing the courts to defend the allegations against you. It is a settled  matter because the IMN leader  has recovered  from sickness superbly.  How I wish my friend Sam Loco were  alive to fete his exact replica.

Otigba is a forensic psychologist and wrote from University of Lagos.

El-Zakzakky: Group commends Buhari for obeying court on IMN leader’s medical vacation, asks court to commence trial

El-Zakzakky: Group commends Buhari for obeying court on IMN leader’s medical vacation, asks court to commence trial

By Dansu Peter

A civil society organization under the aegis of the Peace and Justice Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari obeying court order, which allowed the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to embark on medical vacation overseas.

Recall that a Kaduna court led by Justice Darius Khobo, had on August 5 granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, leave to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The group said by that singular gesture, the government proved that their detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its President, Elder Andrew John Onuche, urged the court to commence the trial of the IMN leader without delay.

The group further called on el-Zakzaky's counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot.

The statement below.

Gentlemen of the press, for the past several months, Nigeria came under attacks from the radical and extremist elements of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). They first relocated their violence from Kaduna to the nation’s capital, Abuja and eventually spread their disruptive activities to other cities across the country. These extremist activities only mellowed after the court proscribed IMN as a terrorist organization in accordance with the anti-terrorism legislation in Nigeria.

The basis for these violent protests was the excuse that IMN militants were protesting for their leader, Mr Ibraheem el-Zakzaky to be freed even though he was in custody while being tried for treason, murder and sundry crimes. While the protests began as unruly affairs that involve IMN members menacing innocent Nigerians and depriving them from moving freely about their daily business, the propaganda lunched - with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran – that el-Zakzaky was mortally sick became a basis for them to engage in full blown terrorist activities, including a brazen attempt to overthrow the National Assembly as well as targeted assassination of police officers and journalists.

Note that a group of doctors from Iran visited el-Zakzaky and his wife in detention came up with a catalogue of ailments that hinted the leader of the terrorist organization may have only weeks to live if he was not urgently flown abroad for treatment. They created the impression that the hospitals in Nigeria are unable to treat his ailments. This assertion was curiously reinforced by a team of 186 doctors from seven countries, who were mostly Shias like el-Zakzaky.

We thank the Federal Government for taking the humanitarian step of allowing el-Zakzaky and his wife to seek treatment abroad, even when acceding to this request appeared like pandering to the demands of terrorists. By that singular gesture the government proved that his detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.

El-Zakzaky is now back in Nigeria as the authorities in India found him insufferable and disruptive to the point that they were not able to put up with his behaviour for 72 hours – law-abiding Nigerians should thus be commended for enduring decades of this plague in human form. He was simply belligerent. He pestered the security accompanying him to return his passport during a Dubai stop-over, he wanted to be checked into a five-star hotel, he rejected treatment from one hospital and rejected assigned doctors when he eventually got to his preferred hospital. He refused to submit for pre-treatment tests but was rather receiving an assortment of visitors and above all made a video broadcast that gave him away as a scam, a fraud.

It is worthy of mention that El-Zakzaky only sought a medical vacation as a ruse to escape. His must have thought that only himself, his Iranian handlers and lieutenants were aware of the nefarious reasons for acting the way he did but facts are now emerging. It is now known that had he been given his passport as requested he would have later requested to use the toilet facilities from where he would have sneaked out into the waiting hands of his Iranian handlers who had a private jet positioned to take off within minutes. Had he been checked into a five-star hotel as requested his Iranian handlers had infiltrated the place and would have drugged the security team and proceed to ferrying him to Iran.

The same arrangement was made as a fallback option when he was checked into Medanta Hospital, which explains his frustration when he discovered that India had a full complement of security to support the Nigerian team. Seeing that the game was up he became irritable and dramatic. It should be noted that the rejection the assigned team of doctors and declining to submit for new medical tests was because both instances would have led to the discovery that the ailments, they had reported, were either a ruse or highly exaggerated. It is a development that would have made self-respecting countries withdrew the medical licenses of these doctors that placed their sectarian affiliation above professional ethics.

There are however positive aspects that have emerged from the entire saga. We have found out that the “el-Zakzaky is sick and dying” story is a big fat lie, a pig in a poke. As one social media user, Kikute, puts it on Twitter: “Zakzaky walked. He talked. He glanced at his wristwatch and said the time. He is seeing clearly with his two eyes. Zakzaky is not sick. Baba Falana...nooooooo”. The whole of this is a conspiracy to assist him in escaping to Iran to direct IMN’s terrorism from there.

From his assertion that the security around him in India made Kirikiri Prison to feel like a five-star hotel, it can now be concluded that law enforcement and the military in Nigeria have shown him such courtesy as he and his group do not extend to other citizens.  It has equally been proven that he has received in Nigeria the kind of medical treatment that assured him to reject treatment in India.

Another fact that has emerged from el-Zakzaky's aborted medical tourism in India is that through the video broadcast he made confirmed that he is not remorseful for the deaths he has caused – his members, military and law enforcement personnel, journalists and innocent Nigerians have died from situations created by him. It is now clear that he will make inciting multimedia messages to urge members of the IMN terrorist organization to launch attacks against Nigerians if the mistake is ever made of allowing him escape to Iran then the world should brace for such terrorism has never been experienced before.

We call on el-Zakzaky's counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot. He may think he is engaged in a juvenile game of hide and seek but it is grossly irresponsible to squander taxpayers fund the way he did on his India trip.

Our expectation is that those who were deceived into being sympathetic to el-Zakzaky's the IMN’s cause now have a vista into what they have been supporting. Nigerians should begin to question the NGOs that had sold the lies that the IMN is an armless group.
Even as we commend the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for giving el-Zakzaky the privilege to have gone on the Indian medical trip, we urge that there should be no further waste of taxpayers’ money for what has now been proven to be an escape bid. Such funds should rather be channelled into rehabilitating repentant IMN members. The government should in the meantime approach the court to note how the accused abused the travel leave granted by the court for making the inciting video broadcast.

It should as well send a commendation not to the government and people of India for their support in managing the situation in a way that it was not internationalized like the IMN and Iran wanted.

The Nigerian government should equally run its own set of medical tests to establish the lies told by the Iranian doctors and supported by the group of 186 doctors with a view to reporting the other doctors (that are not Iranian) for medical malpractice. They abused their position of influence by lending themselves to a terrorist plot.

It is our sincere wish that these exposure of the sham by el-Zakzaky, his legal counsel, doctors, IMN, Iran, and retainer NGOs will bring closure to the demonizing of the Nigerian state.
By Dansu Peter

A civil society organization under the aegis of the Peace and Justice Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari obeying court order, which allowed the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to embark on medical vacation overseas.

Recall that a Kaduna court led by Justice Darius Khobo, had on August 5 granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, leave to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The group said by that singular gesture, the government proved that their detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its President, Elder Andrew John Onuche, urged the court to commence the trial of the IMN leader without delay.

The group further called on el-Zakzaky's counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot.

The statement below.

Gentlemen of the press, for the past several months, Nigeria came under attacks from the radical and extremist elements of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). They first relocated their violence from Kaduna to the nation’s capital, Abuja and eventually spread their disruptive activities to other cities across the country. These extremist activities only mellowed after the court proscribed IMN as a terrorist organization in accordance with the anti-terrorism legislation in Nigeria.

The basis for these violent protests was the excuse that IMN militants were protesting for their leader, Mr Ibraheem el-Zakzaky to be freed even though he was in custody while being tried for treason, murder and sundry crimes. While the protests began as unruly affairs that involve IMN members menacing innocent Nigerians and depriving them from moving freely about their daily business, the propaganda lunched - with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran – that el-Zakzaky was mortally sick became a basis for them to engage in full blown terrorist activities, including a brazen attempt to overthrow the National Assembly as well as targeted assassination of police officers and journalists.

Note that a group of doctors from Iran visited el-Zakzaky and his wife in detention came up with a catalogue of ailments that hinted the leader of the terrorist organization may have only weeks to live if he was not urgently flown abroad for treatment. They created the impression that the hospitals in Nigeria are unable to treat his ailments. This assertion was curiously reinforced by a team of 186 doctors from seven countries, who were mostly Shias like el-Zakzaky.

We thank the Federal Government for taking the humanitarian step of allowing el-Zakzaky and his wife to seek treatment abroad, even when acceding to this request appeared like pandering to the demands of terrorists. By that singular gesture the government proved that his detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.

El-Zakzaky is now back in Nigeria as the authorities in India found him insufferable and disruptive to the point that they were not able to put up with his behaviour for 72 hours – law-abiding Nigerians should thus be commended for enduring decades of this plague in human form. He was simply belligerent. He pestered the security accompanying him to return his passport during a Dubai stop-over, he wanted to be checked into a five-star hotel, he rejected treatment from one hospital and rejected assigned doctors when he eventually got to his preferred hospital. He refused to submit for pre-treatment tests but was rather receiving an assortment of visitors and above all made a video broadcast that gave him away as a scam, a fraud.

It is worthy of mention that El-Zakzaky only sought a medical vacation as a ruse to escape. His must have thought that only himself, his Iranian handlers and lieutenants were aware of the nefarious reasons for acting the way he did but facts are now emerging. It is now known that had he been given his passport as requested he would have later requested to use the toilet facilities from where he would have sneaked out into the waiting hands of his Iranian handlers who had a private jet positioned to take off within minutes. Had he been checked into a five-star hotel as requested his Iranian handlers had infiltrated the place and would have drugged the security team and proceed to ferrying him to Iran.

The same arrangement was made as a fallback option when he was checked into Medanta Hospital, which explains his frustration when he discovered that India had a full complement of security to support the Nigerian team. Seeing that the game was up he became irritable and dramatic. It should be noted that the rejection the assigned team of doctors and declining to submit for new medical tests was because both instances would have led to the discovery that the ailments, they had reported, were either a ruse or highly exaggerated. It is a development that would have made self-respecting countries withdrew the medical licenses of these doctors that placed their sectarian affiliation above professional ethics.

There are however positive aspects that have emerged from the entire saga. We have found out that the “el-Zakzaky is sick and dying” story is a big fat lie, a pig in a poke. As one social media user, Kikute, puts it on Twitter: “Zakzaky walked. He talked. He glanced at his wristwatch and said the time. He is seeing clearly with his two eyes. Zakzaky is not sick. Baba Falana...nooooooo”. The whole of this is a conspiracy to assist him in escaping to Iran to direct IMN’s terrorism from there.

From his assertion that the security around him in India made Kirikiri Prison to feel like a five-star hotel, it can now be concluded that law enforcement and the military in Nigeria have shown him such courtesy as he and his group do not extend to other citizens.  It has equally been proven that he has received in Nigeria the kind of medical treatment that assured him to reject treatment in India.

Another fact that has emerged from el-Zakzaky's aborted medical tourism in India is that through the video broadcast he made confirmed that he is not remorseful for the deaths he has caused – his members, military and law enforcement personnel, journalists and innocent Nigerians have died from situations created by him. It is now clear that he will make inciting multimedia messages to urge members of the IMN terrorist organization to launch attacks against Nigerians if the mistake is ever made of allowing him escape to Iran then the world should brace for such terrorism has never been experienced before.

We call on el-Zakzaky's counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot. He may think he is engaged in a juvenile game of hide and seek but it is grossly irresponsible to squander taxpayers fund the way he did on his India trip.

Our expectation is that those who were deceived into being sympathetic to el-Zakzaky's the IMN’s cause now have a vista into what they have been supporting. Nigerians should begin to question the NGOs that had sold the lies that the IMN is an armless group.
Even as we commend the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for giving el-Zakzaky the privilege to have gone on the Indian medical trip, we urge that there should be no further waste of taxpayers’ money for what has now been proven to be an escape bid. Such funds should rather be channelled into rehabilitating repentant IMN members. The government should in the meantime approach the court to note how the accused abused the travel leave granted by the court for making the inciting video broadcast.

It should as well send a commendation not to the government and people of India for their support in managing the situation in a way that it was not internationalized like the IMN and Iran wanted.

The Nigerian government should equally run its own set of medical tests to establish the lies told by the Iranian doctors and supported by the group of 186 doctors with a view to reporting the other doctors (that are not Iranian) for medical malpractice. They abused their position of influence by lending themselves to a terrorist plot.

It is our sincere wish that these exposure of the sham by el-Zakzaky, his legal counsel, doctors, IMN, Iran, and retainer NGOs will bring closure to the demonizing of the Nigerian state.

Buratai: Nigerian Army’s Symbol Of Discipline, By Nkechi Odoma

Buratai: Nigerian Army’s Symbol Of Discipline, By Nkechi Odoma

By Nkechi Odoma

The office of the Chief of Army Staff ( COAS) is  powerful anywhere by every yardstick of perception. The occupant of the exalted office, and in the case of Nigeria now, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai who wears a second heavier badge as leader, counter- insurgency operations is an influential personality by all standards.

As Nigeria's number one soldier, the COAS wields enormous powers both within and outside military circles.  And in the age of perennial and festering insurgency in Nigeria, Gen. Buratai ought to have  been  egoistic as Nigeria's most priced warrior or man of valour.

Others in his position would have been prancing the Nigerian space with panache, haughtiness and magisterial aura for decimating and significantly crumbling Boko Haram insurgents. It is an uncommon feat.

And it is the experience of Nigerians with most previous occupants of the esteemed office of COAS, even when they have nothing to show as positive results for the war against terrorism.  But such officers usually have enough pride and prompting for showmanship.

But Gen. Buratai's humility, discipline  and simplicity is remarkably unparalleled with some of his professional colleagues, including those of lesser status. He is always in control of himself in decency; he does not allow the aura of his exalted position usurp and suspend his senses as evident in his public outings and  interactions with soldiers, and Nigerian public consistently.

He is grandiose in thoughts and calculative in actions. For ages, the people knew, an average Nigerian soldier is traditionally brash, brutish, fastidious, beast-like  and permenantly callous.  But even as the leader of Nigerian Army, Gen. Buratai is the direct opposite of the aforementioned traits.

Although a crack soldier, rugged and rough in the trenches, but the  Army General and  leader of counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria is unassuming, amiable, honest, blunt and a  level-headed team player. He walks into a public place and departs unannounced, unlike other high-profile personalities.

And right from childhood, Gen. Buratai imbibed the virtues of discipline, self-esteem, hard work, truthfulness and preseverance. He has nurtured and grown up with these qualities. A strict soldier to a fault, Gen. Buratai is a stickler to excellence, timeliness and obligations he covenants with people.

These personal principles have endured in Buratai throughout his military career. They have been his source of nourishment especially when he began holding leadership positions in the Army. For years, he commanded  the several  special operations launched against militants in the Niger Delta. And thereafter, he participated in United Nations Observer Missions/assignments in Angola and elsewhere in the world, emerging with worthy medals in virtually all instances.

Therefore, upon his appointment as the COAS, by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, Gen. Buratai met an Army that was  unprofessional, undisciplined, disloyal, unpatriotic and frustratingly weak. It is mild statement to say, he inherited an Army was in complete disarray.

Many may hate to recount, but it was a national shame and disgrace that Nigeria had an army that faltered before Boko Haram insurgents or shirked womanishly in the frontline of battles with terrorists. Buratai knew, an effeminate Army was the worse thing that could ever happen to a country.

Instantly, Gen. Buratai  realized  at once that  a burden has been placed on his head to rebrand the Nigerian Army into a professionally responsible and responsive institution worthy of a great nation like Nigeria. He had the daunting task of remoulding Army personnel to align with it's core constitutional mandate of preserving, safeguarding and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Gen. Buratai hit the ground running, by immediately touring Army Divisions and Formations throughout the country. The visits afforded him a platform of personal interactions with officers and personnel. He gathered firsthand information  about their problems and afflictions.

There was no time to waste, as the fire of a raging Boko Haram  insurgency need to be urgently extinguished. The Army Chief instantly  solved interim problems afflicting the Army such as poor or lack of  fighting equipments, unpaid or delayed salaries and allowances which dampened the spirit of soldiers in confronting terrorism.

Going forward, he introduced welfare schemes such as ownership of personal houses by soldiers in retirement, expansion of office and barracks  accomodations, alongside renovation of existing Army establishments across the federation.

Gen. Buratai introduced reforms and innovations in the Army which were strictly anchored on discipline, loyalty, patriotism, hard work,  transparency and honesty,  as pathfinders, which morally, pyschologically and physically prepared the Army for excellence in the performance of it's  constitutional responsibilities.

These were achieved via  training and retraining of Army personnel through workshops, seminars  and scholarly courses  in specialised military institutions. Gen. Buratai's creed which is popularised and has become a singsong in the Army is strict adherence to oath of office, professional ethics and Rules of Engagement ( ROE) at all times, whether on Internal Security (IS) special assignments or battling the religious extremist sect, Boko Haram.

It is to Gen. Buratai's credit that a reformed Nigerian Army is  substantially complying  with the defined  operational creeds, as soldiers are aware of Buratai's zero tolerance for professional misconduct. And soldiers also knows,  he does not fail to punish erring soldiers each time one is found culpable.

The Army Chief's aversion to soldiers  human rights violations of Nigerians is infectious. Apart from ensuring a smooth Army/ civil relations, Gen. Buratai has established a Human Rights Desk at the Army Headquarters ( AHQs) and replicated same in all major Army Divisions for ease of access to members of the public with such complaints against soldiers.

Today, and through the perfect  reorientation of the Army by Gen. Buratai, soldiers are now served court summons  by civilians who have disputes with them. And they appear in court to defend their actions in accordance with laws of the land.  This was impossible in the immediate past history of the Nigerian Army and alien in civil/ military interactions.

But notwithstanding the stiff discipline imposed on the Army by Gen. Buratai,  there are a few bad eggs who deviate from the norms by violating the code of conduct or creed of professionalism as persistently trumpeted. It's not in doubt that  every institution or system  has it's share of deviants.

However,  Gen. Buratai spares no one caught in the ring over any  professional misconduct. He has been consistent in punishing every established infraction by any soldier, no matter his rank. Those who have tested and relished Gen. Buratai's affection for his personnel, but  rewarded  it with  engaging in professional misconduct usually encounter  him at a sour point.

Recent examples would suffice and  for instance, by end of 2018, the General Court Martial (GCM) sitting in Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, Borno State handed down different  punishments to
five  personnel of the Nigerian Army for various offences.

President of the Court Martial, Brig. Gen. Olusegun Adesina revealed  that the offences  hinged on  cowardice, negligence, abduction and indiscipline.

So, Captain Alhamdu Kwasau was found guilty of  cowardly behaviour and negligence while on military duty. He  had his rank of Captain reduced to  a Lieutenant with two years lost of seniority.

The second and third accused officers,  Captain Jimen Babangida and Lieutenant Sanusi Bello were also found guilty of conduct prejudiced  to service discipline and were punished variously by the GCM.

Also, Sergeant Aliyu Hassan and Lance Corporal Bello Nasiru were found guilty by the GCM on offences bordering on abduction or  attempts  to commit  abduction and extortions. They were sentenced to as much as five years imprisonment on different counts, aside demotion in ranks.

Similarly, last week, the Nigerian Army arrested a soldier,  Ajayi Johnson who allegedly shot dead a commercial motorcyclist Chimaobi Nwaorgu of Umuokereke-Ngwa community in  Obingwa Local Government Area, of  Abia State.

The acussed soldier has  not only been b arrested,  but  detained and the  disciplinary procedure of trial  is in progress in  accordance with   extant military laws. And if found guilty, he  will be dismissed and handed over to the police for civil  prosecution.

Additionally and in some instances,  Gen. Buratai has had cause ton dismiss  soldiers who indulged in professional misconduct and compromised the integrity and tainted the reputation of the Army as an institution.

In 2016, at least 38 Army personnel deployed on election duty were dismissed from the Nigerian  Army for professional misconduct, as a disciplinary measure to serve as deterrence to others. And when Nigerians saw the vehemence Senior Army officers resisted alleged financial inducements by the Rivers State Gov. Nyesom Wike to compromise the 2019 general elections in the state, it was a loud testimony of Gen. Buratai's reformation and rebranding of the Army.

Therefore, there is no doubt that Gen. Buratai is the Nigerian Army's shining  portrait of discipline and mirror of excellence. His dream and efforts at making  the Nigerian Army one of the best in the world is gradually coming to fruition with a drastic reduction in incidents of professional misconducts by Army personnel generally.

Nigerians must necessarily spot the thin dividing line between an individual bad soldier and the institution of the reverred  Nigerian Army. Much as they are intertwined, but there are slight differences.


Odoma wrote this piece from Garki, Abuja
By Nkechi Odoma

The office of the Chief of Army Staff ( COAS) is  powerful anywhere by every yardstick of perception. The occupant of the exalted office, and in the case of Nigeria now, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai who wears a second heavier badge as leader, counter- insurgency operations is an influential personality by all standards.

As Nigeria's number one soldier, the COAS wields enormous powers both within and outside military circles.  And in the age of perennial and festering insurgency in Nigeria, Gen. Buratai ought to have  been  egoistic as Nigeria's most priced warrior or man of valour.

Others in his position would have been prancing the Nigerian space with panache, haughtiness and magisterial aura for decimating and significantly crumbling Boko Haram insurgents. It is an uncommon feat.

And it is the experience of Nigerians with most previous occupants of the esteemed office of COAS, even when they have nothing to show as positive results for the war against terrorism.  But such officers usually have enough pride and prompting for showmanship.

But Gen. Buratai's humility, discipline  and simplicity is remarkably unparalleled with some of his professional colleagues, including those of lesser status. He is always in control of himself in decency; he does not allow the aura of his exalted position usurp and suspend his senses as evident in his public outings and  interactions with soldiers, and Nigerian public consistently.

He is grandiose in thoughts and calculative in actions. For ages, the people knew, an average Nigerian soldier is traditionally brash, brutish, fastidious, beast-like  and permenantly callous.  But even as the leader of Nigerian Army, Gen. Buratai is the direct opposite of the aforementioned traits.

Although a crack soldier, rugged and rough in the trenches, but the  Army General and  leader of counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria is unassuming, amiable, honest, blunt and a  level-headed team player. He walks into a public place and departs unannounced, unlike other high-profile personalities.

And right from childhood, Gen. Buratai imbibed the virtues of discipline, self-esteem, hard work, truthfulness and preseverance. He has nurtured and grown up with these qualities. A strict soldier to a fault, Gen. Buratai is a stickler to excellence, timeliness and obligations he covenants with people.

These personal principles have endured in Buratai throughout his military career. They have been his source of nourishment especially when he began holding leadership positions in the Army. For years, he commanded  the several  special operations launched against militants in the Niger Delta. And thereafter, he participated in United Nations Observer Missions/assignments in Angola and elsewhere in the world, emerging with worthy medals in virtually all instances.

Therefore, upon his appointment as the COAS, by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, Gen. Buratai met an Army that was  unprofessional, undisciplined, disloyal, unpatriotic and frustratingly weak. It is mild statement to say, he inherited an Army was in complete disarray.

Many may hate to recount, but it was a national shame and disgrace that Nigeria had an army that faltered before Boko Haram insurgents or shirked womanishly in the frontline of battles with terrorists. Buratai knew, an effeminate Army was the worse thing that could ever happen to a country.

Instantly, Gen. Buratai  realized  at once that  a burden has been placed on his head to rebrand the Nigerian Army into a professionally responsible and responsive institution worthy of a great nation like Nigeria. He had the daunting task of remoulding Army personnel to align with it's core constitutional mandate of preserving, safeguarding and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Gen. Buratai hit the ground running, by immediately touring Army Divisions and Formations throughout the country. The visits afforded him a platform of personal interactions with officers and personnel. He gathered firsthand information  about their problems and afflictions.

There was no time to waste, as the fire of a raging Boko Haram  insurgency need to be urgently extinguished. The Army Chief instantly  solved interim problems afflicting the Army such as poor or lack of  fighting equipments, unpaid or delayed salaries and allowances which dampened the spirit of soldiers in confronting terrorism.

Going forward, he introduced welfare schemes such as ownership of personal houses by soldiers in retirement, expansion of office and barracks  accomodations, alongside renovation of existing Army establishments across the federation.

Gen. Buratai introduced reforms and innovations in the Army which were strictly anchored on discipline, loyalty, patriotism, hard work,  transparency and honesty,  as pathfinders, which morally, pyschologically and physically prepared the Army for excellence in the performance of it's  constitutional responsibilities.

These were achieved via  training and retraining of Army personnel through workshops, seminars  and scholarly courses  in specialised military institutions. Gen. Buratai's creed which is popularised and has become a singsong in the Army is strict adherence to oath of office, professional ethics and Rules of Engagement ( ROE) at all times, whether on Internal Security (IS) special assignments or battling the religious extremist sect, Boko Haram.

It is to Gen. Buratai's credit that a reformed Nigerian Army is  substantially complying  with the defined  operational creeds, as soldiers are aware of Buratai's zero tolerance for professional misconduct. And soldiers also knows,  he does not fail to punish erring soldiers each time one is found culpable.

The Army Chief's aversion to soldiers  human rights violations of Nigerians is infectious. Apart from ensuring a smooth Army/ civil relations, Gen. Buratai has established a Human Rights Desk at the Army Headquarters ( AHQs) and replicated same in all major Army Divisions for ease of access to members of the public with such complaints against soldiers.

Today, and through the perfect  reorientation of the Army by Gen. Buratai, soldiers are now served court summons  by civilians who have disputes with them. And they appear in court to defend their actions in accordance with laws of the land.  This was impossible in the immediate past history of the Nigerian Army and alien in civil/ military interactions.

But notwithstanding the stiff discipline imposed on the Army by Gen. Buratai,  there are a few bad eggs who deviate from the norms by violating the code of conduct or creed of professionalism as persistently trumpeted. It's not in doubt that  every institution or system  has it's share of deviants.

However,  Gen. Buratai spares no one caught in the ring over any  professional misconduct. He has been consistent in punishing every established infraction by any soldier, no matter his rank. Those who have tested and relished Gen. Buratai's affection for his personnel, but  rewarded  it with  engaging in professional misconduct usually encounter  him at a sour point.

Recent examples would suffice and  for instance, by end of 2018, the General Court Martial (GCM) sitting in Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, Borno State handed down different  punishments to
five  personnel of the Nigerian Army for various offences.

President of the Court Martial, Brig. Gen. Olusegun Adesina revealed  that the offences  hinged on  cowardice, negligence, abduction and indiscipline.

So, Captain Alhamdu Kwasau was found guilty of  cowardly behaviour and negligence while on military duty. He  had his rank of Captain reduced to  a Lieutenant with two years lost of seniority.

The second and third accused officers,  Captain Jimen Babangida and Lieutenant Sanusi Bello were also found guilty of conduct prejudiced  to service discipline and were punished variously by the GCM.

Also, Sergeant Aliyu Hassan and Lance Corporal Bello Nasiru were found guilty by the GCM on offences bordering on abduction or  attempts  to commit  abduction and extortions. They were sentenced to as much as five years imprisonment on different counts, aside demotion in ranks.

Similarly, last week, the Nigerian Army arrested a soldier,  Ajayi Johnson who allegedly shot dead a commercial motorcyclist Chimaobi Nwaorgu of Umuokereke-Ngwa community in  Obingwa Local Government Area, of  Abia State.

The acussed soldier has  not only been b arrested,  but  detained and the  disciplinary procedure of trial  is in progress in  accordance with   extant military laws. And if found guilty, he  will be dismissed and handed over to the police for civil  prosecution.

Additionally and in some instances,  Gen. Buratai has had cause ton dismiss  soldiers who indulged in professional misconduct and compromised the integrity and tainted the reputation of the Army as an institution.

In 2016, at least 38 Army personnel deployed on election duty were dismissed from the Nigerian  Army for professional misconduct, as a disciplinary measure to serve as deterrence to others. And when Nigerians saw the vehemence Senior Army officers resisted alleged financial inducements by the Rivers State Gov. Nyesom Wike to compromise the 2019 general elections in the state, it was a loud testimony of Gen. Buratai's reformation and rebranding of the Army.

Therefore, there is no doubt that Gen. Buratai is the Nigerian Army's shining  portrait of discipline and mirror of excellence. His dream and efforts at making  the Nigerian Army one of the best in the world is gradually coming to fruition with a drastic reduction in incidents of professional misconducts by Army personnel generally.

Nigerians must necessarily spot the thin dividing line between an individual bad soldier and the institution of the reverred  Nigerian Army. Much as they are intertwined, but there are slight differences.


Odoma wrote this piece from Garki, Abuja

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