Speaking at the Mo Ibrahim Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco on Saturday, Sanusi said many of those who seize religion as tool of getting power, are not necessarily better than the rest of the people.
He said they should however be given a chance to participate in a democracy, so that they do not go on “pushing a myth, that they were not given a chance”.
“I think the ability to give these groups a chance, you know people come and say they want to establish Islamic law, and they are elected,” he said.
“Give them four years, after sometime people find out that they have not improved education, they have not put food on the table, they’ve not provided healthcare, they vote them out.
“So long as you don’t give them a chance to try and succeed or fail, you have a myth of people being denied an alternative, that would make their lives better. I think the mistake that many people make is that they simply don’t have the patience to wait four years.
“We have had it in Nigeria; people came and said they were implementing Sharia. Zamfara state started Sharia in Nigeria, it has the highest rate of poverty in the country today.
“It’s a matter of time for people to realise that this is all deception, this is all politics, this is not religion; it is about politicians appropriating religion as a discourse for getting into power.”
Zamfara state implemented Sharia in 1999.