- A recent report indicates that the issue of banditry in Nigeria might escalate
- An influential Islamic cleric, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, has warned that the problem is developing into a full-blown insurgency
- Gumi recommends dialogue as a means of ending banditry
An emerging report claims bandits operating in the northern Nigerian are planning to purchase sophisticated weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.
The disclosure was made by an influential Islamic cleric, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, in an exclusive interview with Saturday Punch.
He said the bandits intend to use the anti-aircraft missiles to repeal attacks by the military.
“In fact, most of the kidnappings, they (the bandits) are doing it to acquire weapons. They are now trying to buy missiles, anti-aircraft missiles. This is already developing into a full-blown insurgency and we should stop that. And what we are afraid of is that if they become religiously radicalised, it will give rise to another dimension, and it will be very difficult to control. You see what Boko Haram has become.”
The cleric recently visited Zamafara state to have a peace meeting with the bandits. He also advised the government to grant amnesty to the bandits so they could drop their weapons.
The Nation, citing The Punch, reported that Gumi also accused the leadership of the Nigerian military of being complicit in the sabotage of the counter-security efforts.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara state government said the policy of holding dialogue with bandits is yielding results.
This was disclosed by the commissioner for security and home affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, during a joint briefing with the police at the Command Headquarters in Gusau, The Nation reports.
The government stated that some bandits had already surrendered their weapons following a peace deal.
In another news, the Senate has finally reacted to the menace of criminal herdsmen, with the upper legislative chamber mandating President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an executive order.
During a plenary on Wednesday, February 10, 106 senators decried the pervasive insecurity especially the heinous activities of herders.
Ajayi Borofice, deputy Senate leader, led the senators in a motion compelling President Buhari to issue executive order to flush out criminals and ban open grazing.
Kess Ewubare is a senior political/current affairs correspondent at Legit.ng. He has both a BSc and a Master’s degree in mass communication. He has over 10 years of experience in working in several fields of mass communication including radio, TV, newspaper, and online. For Kess, journalism is more than a career, it is a beautiful way of life.