Shiites leader, El-Zakzaky comes out amid death rumors

Nigeria Shia chief speaks for 1st time since arrest

Nigeria: Shia chief speaks for 1st time since arrest

El-Zakzaky who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), told journalists on Saturday in Abuja that he is alive and well.

The leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky says he is getting better, dismissing rumors that he was dead.

The Islamic cleric wore a white flowing gown with turban. The journalists moved towards him.

He thanked Nigerians for their prayers, as well as the DSS for allowing him access to his doctors. "Thank you for all your prayers", El-Zakzaky stated.

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But the DSS and his lawyer, Femi Falana both dispelled the stories, and affirmed that he is still alive.

He spoke against the backdrop of the news that he had died in detention.

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El-Zakzaky had been held by the federal government for more than two years over what the government said was an attempt to breach national security.

Explaining the reasons for showing him to the public with his wife, the spokesperson of DSS, Mr. Nnanna Nnochiri, said that it was basically to dispel his death rumour.

"He has lost an eye; he is in the process of losing the other one".

There have been series of protest by the Shiites members in different cities of the country calling for unconditional release of their leader and his wife, especially against the background of court rulings that ordered his release.

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The rumoured death had culminated in members of his sect staging protests on the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and Kaduna, with police using teargas to disperse them and arresting some of the protesters.

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