Alwaght- Leader of Nigeria's Shiites Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky has made his first public appearance since his detention by security forces in 2015.
Sheikh Zakzaky who is being detained by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS), told journalists on Saturday in Abuja that he is alive and well.
He also thanked Nigerians for their prayers, as well as the authorities for allowing him access to his doctors.
“It was severe on me on Monday but subsequently it started subsiding and for the first time at least the security allowed me to see my own Doctors.
“So it was my own doctors who examined me. Before I used to be examined by security doctors, this time I did not agree, and my own doctors came to examine me.
“I am getting better, thanks to all your prayers,” said Sheikh Zakzaky who is also leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (INM.
This week, Nigerian social media had been awash with rumors that Zakzaky had died. From Monday to Wednesday, IMN members protested in the capital, with police arresting 52 people without specifying charges.
Despite the ruling of a Federal High Court, which ordered his unconditional release in 2016, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife have remained in detention since December 2015.
Tensions between the Nigerian government and Islamic Movement members, mostly Shiite Muslims, broke out in December 2015 in the city of Zaria in Kaduna state when the army killed over 1,000 innocent Muslims. During the incident, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were shot and badly wounded and thereafter detained by Nigerian security agencies. They have since then being held incommunicado by security forces with their health rapidly deteriorating.
The massacre and continued persecution of Shiite Muslims continues amid a deafening silence by the UN which has ignored the crimes committed by the Nigerian regime against Muslims in the West African state.