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The Federal Government has commenced negotiations with the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, over their demand for the release of their detained leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky who has been held in security custody since 2015, a source has claimed.

This development was confirmed on Thursday by a source within the top hierarchy of IMN in Abuja.

According to the source, the Federal Government has issued approval to mediators drawn from members of the diplomatic corps to meet with Sheikh El-Zakzaky with a view to resolving the impasse between the Muslim group and the Nigerian authorities.

“We have some negotiations going on behind the scenes through the intervention of some European countries who are interested in seeing the face-off between our group and the government resolved through dialogue.

“Members of the diplomatic corps here in Abuja have been working right round the clock to make resolving this matter a possibility. We have started interacting with the government in the background.

“The government, though reluctantly, has given some of the mediators in the matter concerning our movement necessary approval to meet with Sheikh El-Zakzaky so that progress can be made.

“The government is been persuaded to see reasons to stop the persecution of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his followers,” the source told our correspondent.

El-Zakzaky has been kept in custody along with his wife and a large number of his followers since 2015, his followers have been holding protests mainly in Abuja since then, calling for his immediate release.

The Government is yet to confirm such negotiation.

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