The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied media report that leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, was dead, saying he was alive and in stable condition.
This was corroborated by IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, who, however, insisted that El-Zakzaky needs an urgent medical treatment abroad to save his life.
El-Zakzaky has been in government detention, with his wife, Zeenah, for two years, despite court orders for his release.
A source in the DSS quoted by an online media, said: “The rumour is handmade of mischievous makers who would stop at nothing to cause confusion among the followers or other ulterior motives.
“As I am speaking to you now, El-Zakzaky and his wife are alive and stable. They observe the regular prayers and are in stable condition.
“The peddlers of rumours claiming he is dead are mischievous, undesirable elements engaging in the antics for ulterior motives.
“While it is out of place to say more than this, Zakzaky and his wife are accorded respects and some privileges, including occasional communication.
“Therefore, the message being circulated to the effect that there would violence as a result of his death is unfounded and misleading and should be disregarded,” the source noted.
Musa, while confirming that the Shiites spiritual head was still alive, appealled to the Federal Government to release him from detention to enable him seek urgently medical attention to his deteriorating health.
Musa, said: “I think the rumoured, which we believe is emanating from the government, is to monitored the reaction of people before establishing what they have decided to do about his health.
“In reality, the Sheikh has communicated with members of his family. So, we hope the rumour of his death is not true.
“You know that we have been protesting and demonstrating for the past five days, so that Sheikh would be allowed to go for medical treatment abroad. Possibly that may be one of the reasons for heavy security presence in the country.
“Despite all this, up till this moment, Sheikh is alive and kicking. One of the family members talked to him yesterday (Thursday), on phone. They do allow his family members to speak with him.”