Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has told the Federal Government to grant the detained leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, access to medical treatment.

The Commission, in a statement by its Director, Corporate Affairs and External Linkages, Lambert Oparah, said there was a need for dialogue in handling the controversial issue of the leader of the IMN.

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It warned security agencies not to infringe on the constitutional right of Nigerians to hold a peaceful protest.

The statement read: “Reacting to the sudden return of the Sheik few days after his medical trip to India, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu said the IMN Leader’s right to health and medical treatment should not be compromised under any circumstances.

“The Executive Secretary who had earlier commended the Federal Government for granting the IMN Leader the leave to undergo treatment in India regretted that the whole exercised was botched over a disagreement between the Sheik and security operatives calling both parties to employ dialogue as a way of resolving the issues.

“Ojukwu also called on  IMN members to tow the path of peace and desist from the use of violence and hate speech in expressing their grievances so as not to precipitate the breakdown of law and order.”

He further called on security agencies to ensure adequate protection of Nigerians and grant them the constitutional right to peaceful protest without hindrance.

“The NHRC has been at the forefront of finding a lasting solution to the protracted conflict between the IMN and security agencies following a faceoff between the army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria IMN in Zaria over 4 years ago.”