Senator Shehu Sani has advised African leaders to join hands to tackle terrorism and illegal migration.
A statement issued on Friday in Abuja quotes Sani as giving the advice in an address to an assembly of Sudanese intellectuals and students at the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan.
Sani, who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, said terrorism and illegal migration were among the many challenges confronting Africa that required urgent attention.
“Terrorism not only represents a 21st century threat to global peace and stability but also to Muslims and Islam. Islam is confronted by two dangers on two fronts, from the inside and from the outside.
“The inside forces are those who manipulate and misuse the religion in furtherance of their extremist or political or violent agenda.And the outside are those with a mindset set and conditioned to hate Muslims and anything associated with Islam.
“The need for humanity and the world to unite and defeat terrorism is urgent and necessary but it’s the Muslims that must lead the battle with common courage, common focus and collective determination.
”Terrorists are anarchists, their cruel actions and atrocious violence create bad perception and impression for the faith they falsely lay claim to belong to,” he said.
The lawmaker urged Muslim intellectuals, scholars and students to lead efforts to cast the light of peace and tolerance in the hearts of all believers in the faith.
He said Sudan and Nigeria shared centuries of historical, cultural and political ties, adding that the peoples of both nations must move to sustain and reinforce such ties in the spirit of unity, brotherhood and African solidarity.
According to him, Sudan holds a strategic and geographical position as abridge between North Africa and sub Saharan Africa.
Sani said this, therefore, imposed on it a moral and historic duty to champion causes to promote and enhance unity and continental peace. “International University for Africa in Sudan should breed students who will go back to their countries to lead the fight against religious extremism and terrorism.
“The products of your institution should symbolise a synergy of intellect, modernity, African unity and faith. Any ideology that promotes mass murder of innocent souls in the mosques, churches and schools are forces of evil and we must collectively resist and defeat.
“Those who attacked airport in Brussels, train stations in London, theatre in Paris, streets in New York, malls in Nairobi, Mosques in Nigeria do not represent Islam,” he said.
According to him, the dangers of silence, neutrality and cowardice is that the forces of darkness will be left unchallenged to define our present and dictate our future. “As you assemble African future leaders in this University, give them the knowledge that will empower and enable them to champion the cause of peace, justice, freedom and tolerance,” Sani advised.