A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Human Rights and Interfaith Religious Organisations for Peace has called for the immediate travel ban on Iran, especially for the purpose of studies, saying the country plays a key role in radicalising youths by teaching them extreme ideologies.
The participants, who made the call at a summit that discussed the threat of growing religious extremism in Nigeria in Abuja, noted that Iran is against the sovereignty of Nigeria.
The summit on the emerging extremism in a post Boko Haram Nigeria with the theme ‘Building a Consensus against Extremism as a Catalyst for National Integration’ was organised by the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Human Rights and Interfaith Religious Organisations for Peace.
Resource persons and participants stressed that there was need for religious tolerance in Nigeria but however noted that radicalisation by way of people forming their own communities and laws within the Nigeria state should not be allowed.
They explained that formation of states within the Nigeria State like special places of worship for some selected persons should be outlawed by legislature at federal, state and local government levels.
A resource person, Mr Ayokunle Fagbemi, the executive director, Centre for Peace Building and Socio-Economic Resources Development CePSERD, explained that the Boko Haram phenomenon and the incidents between the Shiite sect and the army were cases of “security breaches” for the country.
Fagbemi identified what he described as “political correctness” as “the major obstacle to overcome in building a consensus against extremism.”
He further noted that decision makers in Nigeria must constantly be aware that “conflict and violence entrepreneurs are taking advantage” of the country’s security breaches and that a management system must be in place to address these breaches.
The executive director of CePSERD pointed out that it was necessary to interrogate claims made by those that try to parade religion and that the Shiite issue must be viewed from the right perspective to understand why they created another community.
“Thankfully, the Chief of Army Staff was of the same faith as the Shiites; the trouble would have been difficult. No group on its own would accept (admit) extremism on its own,” he said.
In his keynote to the summit, the guest of honour, Dr. Udenta O. Udenta, a former director in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja, recommended that youths must be repositioned in the post industrial society were technology and new media have the potentials of being deployed as tools for radicalisation.
Dr. Udenta, who explained that this week’s terror attack in Belgium was a product of failing to deal with a festering pool of radicalisation in Brussels, warned that Nigeria must limit external influences in the orientation of the youths.