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PRESS RELEASE: Sheikh Zakzaky’s Health in Danger, As Doctors Recommend Elimination of Lead Poisoning

We would like to inform the public that the most recent health review of the condition of Sheikh Zakzaky has revealed the blood lead level concentration in his body to be far greater than the expected for humans, and thus the sources should urgently be sorted for and eliminated, if his health is to stand any chance of improving. The presence of foreign bodies and metallic pellets within the brain tissues, especially the Thalamic and Sub-thalamic regions may have caused an automatic dysreflexia, thereby interfering with the normal control of physiological activities like blood pressure, temperature, cardiac activities, temperature, etc. And the Sheikh is at the risk of losing his sight completely, unless urgent steps are taken to safeguard the worsening situation.

The medical doctors present at the time of the review recommended: [I] the surgical removal of those accessible foreign bodies, metallic pellets and bone fragments within the soft tissues, skull and brain, [II] the control of his labile blood pressure through cardiologists in a hospital with cardiac unit to avoid the possibility of another stroke, [III] an urgent ophthalmologist’s review to protect his vision. That the lead poisoning should even be managed immediately by a toxicologist is one of the most disturbing medical recommendations.

A week after the medical review, the Buhari regime ignored these recommendations and transferred the ailing Sheikh and his wife to the unhealthy prison in Kaduna where Doctors lacks proper access and even facilities to handle their cases.

The Sheikh has been suffering from a number of issues: obstructed blood flow to the heart, which poses a serious risk of a heart attack; nerve root compression; severe visual impairment in his remaining right eye and progressive open angle glaucoma, progressive macular atrophy and other issues that can inevitably lead to permanent blindness. There is extremely high concentration of cadmium in his blood among other things.

His wife suffers from severe arthritis in her knee joints, which her doctors have said can only be treated with knee replacement surgery since at least two years ago. She also has loose fragments of bullet pieces in her abdominal area which cause a large number of episodes of periodic life-threatening complications with her organs, the wheel chair bound mother of nine is also hypertensive. Even one of the ailments suffered by either of them constitutes a very serious medical emergency, let alone a combination of all of them.

It should be noted that the Sheikh has already suffered two strokes while in detention. Both Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife need urgent and critical interventions to salvage their health.

Nigerians and international communities should note that the Buhari-led regime is fully aware of how fast the health of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky deteriorates, but it has not taken any step to redress it, and there is no clue that this will come to pass. However, should any thing happens to either of the two for such acts of wanton negligence coupled with careless and indifferent approach, Buhari would squarely be held responsible.

In view of the foregoing, we are calling for all followers, supporters and sympathizers of the Sheikh within Nigeria and beyond to renew the struggle for his immediate and unconditional release. Using this medium, we urge human rights organizations, the people of conscience, civil societies, religious organizations and the rest of Nigerians to join us in the free-Zakzaky struggle.

The struggle continues, and our demand is simple: Buhari should observe the Federal High Court judgement delivered on the 2nd of December 2016 and free the twosome of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah Ibraheem

*Abdullahi Muhammad Musa*
For the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement in Nigeria
*6 July, 2020*