Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as the Shiite Islamic sect, says he is alive and well.
According to Channels Television, El-Zakzaky said this when he addressed journalists on Saturday.
He thanked Nigerians for their prayers and the Department of State Services (DSS) for allowing him access his doctors.
El-Zakzaky has been in the DSS custody since December of 2015 following a clash between his followers and soldiers in Zaria.
More that 300 Shiite Muslims were killed in the clash and hundreds more, including El-Zakzaky, were injured.
There have been many protests by members of the IMN calling for his release, and claiming that he may go blind if not released for urgent medical attention.
Femi Falana, El-Zakzaky’s lawyer, had also written to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to obey the December 2016 order by the Federal High Court in Abuja, which awarded the sum of N50 million in favour of his client, while ordering the Federal Government to release him and his wife, and provide them accommodation at a location of their choice.
Garba Shehu, senior presidential spokesman, had said that El-Zakzaky is being kept in “voluntary custody”, as the government was worried that there could be a major breakdown of law and order should he be allowed to return home.
“Government has a responsibility to ensure his safety. He is not in a prison type of detention,” Shehu had stated. “He is in the company of his wife and children voluntarily. Government is being compassionate on this matter. There is an overall public good that government is looking at in this matter.”