- Strange enough, herdsmen suspected to be bandits in the north are blaming the federal government for not providing basic infrastructure
- This was revealed by a widely travelled Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad Gumi
- Gumi said these herdsmen were once victims of banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes
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Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric who has travelled to the hinterlands of northern Nigeria on a campaign to pacify herdsmen, came out recently to make powerful revelations on the security issues.
Gumi, in an interview with Daily Trust on Saturday, January 23, said that from his study and conversation with these supposed criminals, he discovered that most of them were actually victims of military incursions and crimes they are now into: kidnap, maiming and even banditry.
The famous Islamic scholar said most of the herdsmen were pushed to the forest due to the government's alleged reluctance to deal with deteriorating security in the region, and in order to protect themselves, became criminals themselves.
Sheikh Gumi said the herders are not in any way different from persons who reside in town and urban areas as some of them speak English with fluency.
"These are people who are not different from the folks in town, only that they are nomadic. So, it has reached the extent that they cannot go into towns and markets because they will be lynched.
"They have been confined to the bushes and so they find themselves pressed to harm the society just the way the society is harming them."
Gumi said the cattle rearers blame the government for its lack of presence evident in the unavailability of basic social amenities like water and electricity.
"When we speak with them, they say they blame the government. Well, the government has to be blamed because they need to take proactive steps to see that there are amenities in their area; they don’t have electricity, even water, there is no presence of government there. So these are the things the government needs to do to end this insecurity."
Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara had threatened to expose Nigerian politicians who are happy over the activities of bandits in his state.
Matawalle, who spoke on Thursday, January 21, said armed criminals always attack citizens whenever he is out of the state.
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