Senator Shehu Sani has called on the federal government and Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to sheathe their swords and go back to dialogue with a view to addressing the ongoing face-off between them in the interest of peace and harmony.
Speaking to newsmen in Kano on Sunday, Senator Sani said the face-off between the FG and IMN could be resolved amicably without any confrontation that sometimes leads to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of Naira.
He said: “The solution to IMN and FG problem in my own personal opinion are four: the first, is that the Sultan of Sokoto and other religious leaders should stand as guarantors for the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Zakzaky and the Sheikh should be released to them.
“Secondly, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, on its part, should seize all form of protest whether peaceful or violence.
“Thirdly, the government should move towards addressing the problems of the IMN members that were killed and their homes destroyed in compliance with the previous Court Orders.
“And fourthly, the movement should seize all its alleged relationship with nations outside Nigeria that pose security threats to our country.”
He opined that IMN should purely be a Nigerian movement and its members should pursue their ideas, their beliefs and whatever they preach in conformity with Nigerian laws.
Senator Sani said he was optimistic that if these issues are considered, Nigeria could resolve the FG/IMN fracas amicably, emphasising that “we must avoid a situation where a movement that we can see, we can feel, we can touch, a movement that we know its members, leaders and structures will suddenly disappear out of our own radar and do something sinister.”
“The movement that has been existing for four decades and they have faced a lot of persecutions from successive governments should not be allowed to create more problems than the one we are already confronted with in this country.
“The court of law cannot address a problem of either insurgency or agitation or crushing this kind of idea. We have heard several laws on terrorism and it is 10 years today but we are still battling with Boko Haram that is one.
“Secondly, which one do we prefer—the Islamic Movement that has a leader we can arrest, that has members we can see, that has an identity that we can prosecute or a group that can be forced to go underground and pose a serious security danger on the country, I think the option is ours.
“It is either we prefer an organization like the Islamic Movement, that is the one we can see, or the one we cannot see. We have not been able to crush the one we cannot see and we are already creating a new one.
“A nation that can come down so low to sit down with bandits and negotiate with them was in contradiction for it to say it could not talk with the other groups.
“If government can sit down on a bench and discuss with bandits, if government can open its gates for bandits, if government’s representatives can shake the hands with bandits in order to find peace, it can as well find peace by talking to the IMN,” Senator Sani pointed out.