Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has said that the condition at the Indian hospital where he and his wife, Zeenat were taken to, is worse than that of Nigeria.
El-Zakzaky alleged that hey were only brought to another detention facility and they do not feel safe there because a new set of doctors whom he had not made any prior arrangement with, were brought to handle his case.
This development was confirmed by the spokesperson of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, who said the group had received an audio message from El-Zakzaky in which he told them of the “terrible condition” they had been subjected to in India.
Read the full transcript below.
We are now here in New Delhi, India. As you all know there was an arrangement for us to come here to seek medical care regarding the ailments that we have, myself and Malama Zeenah.
She, Malama Zeenah has a full bullet lodged in her body(that needs to be removed), also she is in need of a knee replacement surgery in addition to other problems. As for me, there are shrapnel, very small fragments in my eyes, in my hands and some in my right thigh that were slowly releasing toxins into my system which caused a lot of complications, which we later discovered that they were the caused of the mini-strokes I have had, both the first and the second time. So we were thinking the first thing to be done is to remove the shrapnel, which is a procedure that couldn’t be done at home and the doctors suggested that we should go abroad where it will be possible for the procedure to be done.
Then the second thing would be to clean my body of the toxins, which I was told are deposited in the bones and some in the flesh and this normally takes time to be done.
I also have a problem with my eye which the doctors that attended to us since after I had a second operation and my sight weakened, suggested that I should be taken to better facilities to have it tended to.
After all this, we were all happy that we are in Delhi and we would be going to a suitable hospital to receive appropriate treatment. In addition, the doctors that came to visit us when we were in Nigeria advised us to come to this hospital called Medanta. That is why we requested to be brought to this hospital.
So before we left Nigeria we heard the news that the American embassy here in India was pressuring the hospital not to admit us when we arrive. And that the hospital had agreed to refuse admitting us. So we were considering going somewhere else when we arrive. But we were later informed that the problem had been sorted out and we would be admitted to the hospital. So we set out from Nigeria.
As soon as we arrived here, we were met with some hospital staff at the airport that escorted us to the hospital.
Since we were in the ambulance they informed that there were a lot of people at the airport waiting to see us even if just when we are boarding the ambulance. But they have evaded them and distracted them by placing two ambulances at that exit claiming we will be boarding those but they decided to bring a different ambulance and leave through a different route so the people at the airport didn’t even get a glimpse.
And they also said that there was a lot of people at the hospital entrance to see us arrive. But they informed us that if we arrive we will be taken in through a back entrance. They said they did this due to the high number of people, they were concerned that in people’s attempt to reach us in the crowd some harm can be done to us, that’s what they said.
After we arrived we realized that in this hospital, or better yet someone working in the Nigerian embassy here told us that before we came, they had carried out a meeting with the hospital staff, the workers from the Nigerian embassy and some security operatives on how to go about things once we are here.
So we saw that we were practically brought to another detention facility which is even stricter than the one we were in back in Nigeria. They came here with police armed with guns and a lot of staff from the Nigerian embassy. And we also noticed we were brought into another detention that we only came based on trust.
Even in Nigeria, they agreed where we were detained that we would be treated only by the doctors we choose and are comfortable with allowing to treat us. But here we understand that the doctors that advised us to come here are blocked from having any say in our case. They even told us when we spoke to them, they are only allowed to advise but the hospital reserves the right to decide the course of our treatment. So I told them that, we came here based on the trust we have in our doctors, we cannot just see any doctor that we don’t know, or trust to treat us.
And without recommendation from those we do trust, we cannot allow a stranger to treat us, lest not what couldn’t be done with bullets be carried out in a different way.
Due to this, we think that based on everything we have seen so far indicates to us that we are not safe here. We were just brought to another detention.
I have been detained now for a collective total of about 13 years but I have never seen a detention like the one I am in now.
Even at the door, they have placed armed police. Even between one room to the next we are not allowed to move. Then I see that even where we were, and of all the times I have been imprisoned in Nigeria, I have not seen anything like this. When I was in an actual prison They used to lock us up around 9:00 pm and open the doors at 7:00 am, and we could move about where ever we wish within the prison facility we were detained in.
I see here that even when I was in kirikiri prison it wasn’t as constricting as in this situation. So I feel that it is not reasonable to leave detention in order to seek medical help and we be placed in a different detention and on top of that, we be handed over to be treated by people we do not trust.
So, based on this we are thinking that Insha Allah by all apparent indications that there is a need for us to return home since we were allowed to travel abroad for medical care and India doesn’t appear to be a safe place for us. We would have to return home, afterall, there are other countries that offered to receive us if we could go there.
These countries include Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey, we can convene to decide which one to go to and then go there Insha Allahul Adheem.
AfDB President, Adesina wins All Africa Business Leaders Awards
African Development Bank, President , Dr Akinwumi Adesina received the African of the Year Award from the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), Thursday, in recognition of his bold leadership and the innovation of the Africa Investment Forum which “opened up billions of dollars of investment into the continent.”
The ninth edition of the awards, organized by AABLA in conjunction with CNBC Africa, seeks to honour leaders who have contributed and shaped the African economy.
The Africa Investment Forum, inaugurated in 2018, has been a trailblazer in tilting investments into the continent. The second edition of the Forum which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa ended on 13 November. It was attended by over 2,000 delegates and secured investor interest worth $40.1 billion – up from $37.1 billion the previous year.
“It is indeed a great honour,” Dr Adesina said in remarks during the exclusive gala dinner held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, at which the awards were announced. Adesina added that he was overwhelmed to follow in the footsteps of his “big brother” President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who won the award in 2018. “My heartbeat is to serve the people of Africa,” Adesina said.
The event was attended by an A-list of business leaders, government representatives including David Makhura, Premier of Guateng Province, who gave the opening address. The event also attracted some of South Africa’s leading personalities. Vibrant music was provided by The Muses, a south African all-female string quartet and “Dr Victor And The Rasta Rebels.”
The awards are decided by a jury of continent-wide judges led by Sam Bhembe, CNBC Africa Non-Executive Director, following evaluation of a shortlist of finalists to determine the overall category winners.
Bhembe said the award reflected how the winner would “shape the future of the African continent,” and that the winner would brace the cover of a special edition of Forbes Africa.
In other categories of the 2019 awards, Nigerian Co-Founder of Kobo360, Obi Ozor won Young Business Leader of the Year; Naspers CEO: South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa took the Business Woman of the Year award; while Nedbank, won the Company of the Year award.
Adesina dedicated his award “to the people of Africa who inspire me… I do not work alone.” He also said it was very rewarding to be at the helm “of an organisation that paves the way to progress.”
Soyinka, top musical artists, business leaders rally for children’s rights
Leaders from Nigeria’s private sector and entertainment industry on Thursday joined Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka for a reading of his poem A Child Before a Mirror of Strangers, dedicated to children around the world in commemoration of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which celebrates a milestone 30th anniversary this year.
“There is one common bond among all of us — and that bond is childhood,” said Prof. Soyinka. “We have the responsibility to protect and preserve the integrity of that sole common bond, which is pertinent to all humanity.”
The event, a collaboration between UNICEF and the British Deputy High Commission, brought key leaders and influencers from Nigeria’s private sector and entertainment industry together to discuss how these sectors can help advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the realization of children’s rights.
“Achieving the SDGs and achieving child rights go hand-in-hand,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.
“Both will only be achieved if all sectors of business are fully engaged. Child rights and the SDGs need to be integrated into business principles, strategies and plans, which, in turn, can contribute to more robust and inclusive economic growth and improved employment of young people. That is good for children, good for business and good for Nigeria.”
With a population close to 200 million people and an ever-increasing youth bulge, Nigeria is experiencing increasing demands on schools and health facilities, and growing challenges for young people to find work, amongst other challenges.
In an appeal directly to children, musician, producer and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo said, “You are all that is right in Nigeria because you are the chance to rewrite all of wrongs that generations before you have done. You have a chance and a clean state to make this country the place we all dream of.”
A strong push will need to be made by all if Nigeria is to meet the SDGs by 2030. The private sector could be a critical key in unlocking opportunities for young people, and also addressing poverty, combatting inequality and tackling environmental problems.
“We are pleased to work with UNICEF, the private sector, and young people themselves on ideas that will contribute to a better Nigeria for current and future generations of children,” said Harriet Thompson, British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria.
“With the anniversary of the CRC this year, the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child next year and only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, we must work together and with urgency to scale-up solutions in Nigeria that will improve our planet and all people’s lives, especially our children.”
World food prices jump in November – Report
World food prices rose significantly in November, reaching their highest point in more than two years, driven by jumps in the international prices of meat products and vegetable oils.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 177.2 points over the month, up 2.7 percent from October and 9.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose by 10.4 percent in November, as palm oil price quotations rose amid robust global import demand, increased use for the production of biodiesels and expectations of possible supply shortages next year. Rapeseed and soy oil values also rose.
The FAO Meat Price Index increased by 4.6 percent, its largest month-on-month increase in more than a decade. Price quotations for bovine and ovine meats rose the most, buoyed by strong import demand, especially from China ahead of year-end festivities. Pig and poultry meat prices also rose.
The FAO Sugar Price Index rose by 1.8 percent from October, buoyed by mounting indications that world sugar consumption in the coming year will surpass production – which is being hampered by less-than-ideal growing conditions in Thailand, India, France and the United States of America.
The FAO Cereal Price Index, by contrast, declined by 1.2 percent amid stiff competition among the world’s leading wheat exporters. Rice values also fell while U.S. maize export prices remained under downward pressure even as those for Argentina and Brazil were generally firmer.
The FAO Dairy Price Index rose marginally from October, nudged up as milk production in Europe entered its seasonal low and global demand remained strong.
Record cereal production expected for 2019
FAO also released a new worldwide cereal production forecast for 2019, anticipating an all-time high harvest of 2 714 million tonnes, which would be 2.1 percent higher than in 2018.
The latest upward revision, contained in the new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief also released today, reflects higher-than-previously predicted coarse grain yields in China, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
World output of coarse grains including maize is now forecast at 1 433 million tonnes, marginally short of the record level registered in 2017. After an upward revision for the European Union, global wheat production in 2019 is now forecast to rise by 4.8 percent from 2018 to reach 766.4 million tonnes. World rice production is likely to reach 515 million tonnes, a mere 0.5 percent drop from the record set in 2018, with Egypt, Madagascar and Nigeria all poised to spearhead a rebound for African rice production this season.
FAO’s world cereal utilization forecast for 2019/20 stands at 2 709 million tonnes, up around 21 million tonnes from the previous season. World cereal stocks at the close of seasons in 2020 are now expected to reach 863 million tonnes. At this level, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio would approach a relatively high level of 31 percent, underscoring a comfortable global supply situation.
World trade in cereals in 2019/20 is forecast at 416 million tonnes, some 1.1 percent higher than in 2018/19.
Weather hits cereal harvests in East and Southern Africa
There are 42 countries today in need of external assistance for food, according to FAO’s quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, also released today.
Compared to the September issue of the same report, Zambia, affected by drought conditions and record-high staple food prices, has been added to the list, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
The report also provides details on floods that followed earlier severe dryness, cutting harvest expectations in East Africa, and adverse weather conditions that caused a steep production decline in Southern Africa. Unfavorable harvests and significantly high staple food prices in Zimbabwe, set against an economy that has sharply deteriorated, will likely almost double the number of food-insecure people in the country during the first three months of 2020.
While the cereal output of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) in Africa is expected to decline due to adverse weather that of LIFDCs in Asia is projected to increase, notably in Afghanistan and Syria.
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