The National Youth Council of Nigerian (NYCN) has expressed concern over the strained relationship between the Nigerian government and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) following the detention of their leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent clashes between the IMN, also known as Shi’ites , and security operatives in Abuja, NYCN called on the Nigerian Government to dialogue with the sect to prevent further bloodshed.
NYCN made the call on Tuesday in a statement by its President, Bello Shagari.
He said: “The recent clashes between the security agencies and the protesting Zakzaky followers calls for security concern in the country. It has recorded scores of injuries, deaths and destruction of properties from both sides. We are afraid that the protest may grow beyond what it is today. Unfortunately, most of the protesters are young people who could have been engaged in other productive activities.
“We believe that it is best for the government to open dialogue with the supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky in order to bring the confrontations to a peaceful end.
“Even though we are aware that the government has its own reason for keeping Sheikh Zakzaky in detention, it will be proper to have a dialogue with his supporters to reach a compromise where all parties will be satisfied.
“The Nigerian Youth don’t want the escalation of grievances that may give excuses for terrorizing ordinary Nigerians and become detrimental to our future. Nigeria has had enough of terrorism and violence.
“We therefore appeal to His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari in his wisdom to take a decisive action on the matter in the best interest of all Nigerians to have a smooth and peaceful running of our affairs in the next level.
“We wish we didn’t have to talk about it, but our desire for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria has forced us to do so.”