N3.5m Feeding: Stop using Zakzaky’s name as conduit pipe to syphone public funds ,Shi’ites warn FG
* Say Zakzaky complains of poor feeding, catering for self in prison
By Steve Oko
The recent claims by the Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the Federal Government was spending a whopping N3.5 million monthly for the upkeep of the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, is now causing ripples.
In a swift response, Shites have countered the claims by the Minister, alleging that some government officials might have converted the detention of their leader as an conduit pipe to syphone public funds.
President of the group, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement, Friday, said there was no evidence to prove that the government was taking adequate care of Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015.
The group said it was embarrassed and irritated by the Minister’s claims, and warned the Federal Government to stop lying to the world using El-Zakzaky’s name.
Faulty the veracity of the claims, Shites argued that N3.5 million which is more than the monthly wage of over 100 workers could not be justifiably spent on an inmate even in advanced countries .
The group said its leader “caters for his domestic needs in detention”, while urging the public to ignore Mohammed.
It further argued that if government truly spends N3.5 million on Zakzaky every month, he obviously would not have complained of poor feeding when some members of the religious group visited him last month in Kaduna.
The Islamic group said the report about the humongous expenses suggested that “some officials may have been looting public funds under the guise of keeping Zakzaky in protective custody.”
Wawa News Global recalls that the Shites’ Leader has been in incarceration since 2016 after a bloody clash which occurred in Zaria between IMN members and the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai.
The Army boss had accused the sect members of an assassination attempt on his life, an allegation the sect denies.
El-Zakzaky has remained in custody since then despite court rulings that he should be released on bail.
The statement read in part : “Now they are lying to the world that they are good to him. “Moreover, when some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria met the Sheikh early last month, among the things he complained of is the poor feeding he is facing since his transfer to Kaduna six months ago.
“Considering his age and failing health he deserves a special feeding arrangement, but those holding him have denied him that.
“This clearly shows that some security officers are looting public funds under the guise of keeping the Sheikh in ‘protective custody’ which a Federal High Court in Abuja has since declared illegal under the constitution.
“Also the claim clearly exposes the corruption in the government. This figure could be true in their records, but they actually use that to loot public funds in the name of feeding the Sheikh, while in reality the Sheikh is the one catering for himself and buying all his domestic needs.”
The Shites still insisted that their Leader should be freed in accordance with the order of court.