Department of State Services (DSS) sources speaking with SaharaReporters have stated that the Shiite leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, has not been released because of the gruesome injuries he and his wife sustained during the Nigerian army’s raid on their home in December 2015.
This DSS source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the Nigerian government was in a major dilemma about how to release Sheikh Zakzaky. The two civilians are in DSS custody, according to this source.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian army rampaged against the IMN for three days in Kaduna State last December 2015. The incident occurred when a convoy of military vehicles, one of which was carrying the Chief of Army Staff TY Buratai, was blocked by IMN protesters. The military, who argued they were provoked, massacred at least 300 people according to Human Rights Watch.
The use of violent force by the military continued for three days, including the destruction of Shiite sites of worship, and the raid and detention of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife after the rampaging soldiers shot and killed three of his sons. Shortly after the attack images emerged of Shiekh Zakzaky plopped into a wheelbarrow with severe injuries.
The DSS source disclosed to SaharaReporters that the condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife is so disturbing that Nigerian authorities worry it could provoke a backlash by the IMN and Shiite Muslims across the world.
“[Sheikh Zakzaky] is blinded in one eye from a bullet wound to the skull” the source stated. They added that his eye had popped out because of this injury.
Sheikh Zakzaky was also shot in the leg during the military’s raid on his home that took place on Monday, December 14th, 2015.
SaharaReporters has also confirmed that Sheikh Zakzaky’s wife, who was arrested in the raid with her husband, received a bullet wound in the abdomen and arm and would continue to require critical medical attention.
These developments come days after the Minister of Defense, Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali, told SaharaReporters that military force against the group did not extend beyond Saturday, December 12th. Mr. Dan Ali did not want to comment on who authorized the use of force because a board of inquiry is currently investigating the events.
Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman for the IMN, told SaharaReporters that “we demand the immediate release of Sheikh Zakzaky so that we can take good care of him. They should release him so we can get him treatment.”