Ansar-Ud-Deen Youth Association of Nigeria (ADYAN) has tasked Muslim youth to desist from being used as agents of violence and distabilisation during and after the general election during the forthcoming elections. The group also appealed to religious leaders to steer clear of partisan politics to avoid causing confusion in the country. Chairman of the Northern States Council of ADYAN, Dr Bashir Omipidan, made the pleas at the opening of the 2018 annual conference of the association held in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital. Omipidan said due to their status in the society, there was the need for religious leaders to live up to their creed and not heat up “the already tense political atmosphere” in the country.
He condemned the attitudes of some clerics who, according to him, in recent times, have dropped their religious garbs for political patronage. “No matter the amount of money given to you, your integrity as men of God can only remain intact if you constantly say the truth no matter whose ox is gored,” the ADYAN chairman said. Urging young Nigerians to resist being drawn into political violence and other acts capable of undermining the integrity of the next elections, he said the youth had the duty of using “our voter cards to empower those that will guarantee our future and keep away those who constantly derive joy in mortgaging our future for their own selfish desires,” he said. According to him, ADYAN is in support of the recent clampdown on some traditional rulers found to be supporting banditry in Zamfara State. Omipidan said no person should be allowed to go scot-free for making the state unsafe to live in. “It is sad that those who are supposed to protect their citizens are the ones killing them,” he lamented.
The conference featured a lecture entitled “2019 General Election: Youth Empowerment and Education as Key to Nigeria’s Future,” delivered by popular preacher and chieftain of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Muhyideen Bello. Sheikh Bello described youths as catalysts for development and therefore they must not allow themselves to become backbenchers in the national polity. He called on the government to give more priority to youth education and empowerment to reduce the level of crime in the country.
“If the youth are empowered, it reduces their participation in crimes such as kidnapping, banditry and robbery,” the preacher said. The chairman on the occasion, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, advised youths not to allow themselves to be used as agents of destruction, saying the current security crisis in the country was as a result of lack of empowerment for the youth.