A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Ahmed Raji, has called on the Federal Government to exercise caution on the planned proscription of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites group, advising it to look for a more holistic approach towards addressing the Shi’ites challenge and other social problems.
This approach, according to him, would entail, among other measures, providing jobs for the teeming youths of the country, who are ready recruits for various organisations in conflict with the state, noting that the problems would only go away if it solved holistically.
Describing the Shi’ite issue as delicate, Raji noted that the Federal Government would have to be wary so that its action on the matter does not isolate the country as a colony of terrorists and scare the international communities from investing in the country.
Raji, a former Resident Electoral Commissioner, in a reaction to a Federal High Court order issued to the Federal Government to proscribe the sect, said: “We should avoid a situation whereby we will isolate ourselves as a colony of terrorists. I sympathise with the Federal Government, especially Mr President, because I am convinced that he means well for this country and most of these problems predate his regime.
“But proscribing Shi’ites will seem like treating the effect of what is on ground without addressing the cause. Boko Haram has been proscribed; are we not battling with Boko Haram till date? IPOB has been proscribed, are we not battling with the issue today? These are social problems, which need a holistic approach to look at the root causes and look at what can be done to tackle the social problems.
“IPOB and Boko Haram have been proscribed but they are still here with us, so if you proscribe the Islamic Movement of Nigeria otherwise known as Shi’ites, where is the assurance that the proscription will achieve the desired result or the objective? Should we not sit down and look at all the problems and see how we can tackle them holistically, even it means bringing in external people to come and advise, guide or superintend. Will it not be better than to say we are now running a country of terrorist.