- Bandits are only fighting an ethnic war, according to respected cleric Ahmad Gumi
- The Islamic cleric stated that those whose lives were cut short by the criminals were "killed in error" and not with a motive
- Going further, Gumi argued that it is easier to negotiate with the bandits
In what will continue to amaze many Nigerians, Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, has advocated for bandits.
In his defence of the criminals, the cleric described them as militants who are fighting “an ethnic war”.
He made his points while speaking during a Channels TV programme on Monday, February 22.
According to him, bandits are not interested in killing people. In fact, the Islamic scholar said the criminals had only killed a few people.
Gumi described 'the few' that were killed as“accidental” cases. Going further, he said they only kill people when they are avenging the death of one of them.
The cleric was of the opinion that the criminals are mostly interested in ransoms from kidnapping and also open to negotiation.
“I choose to call them militants because they are fighting an ethnic war."
“They are kidnapping to get money. Look at the case where they released a bus full of people, they were asking N500 million but now, they freed them with mere negotiations for free. Nothing was paid."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the federal government has been urged to extend blanket amnesty to Fulanis involved in kidnappings as well as everyone carrying a gun in the south.
Sheikh Gumi gave the advice in an interview on Sunday, February 21. According to the Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, the bandits involved in kidnappings are Nigerians and not foreigners.
Legit.ng reported that days after the abduction of some students of the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger state, Sheikh Gumi said the kidnapped children might be released on Sunday, February 21.
Speaking on Saturday, February 20, he said there was a possibility that the abductees might regain freedom, given ongoing talks between the government and the bandits.
Gumi, who recently held a parley with some bandits noted that the negotiation for the release of the schoolchildren and members of staff was slowed down due to logistics, adding that the negotiation does not involve payment of ransom.
Aanu Adegun is a politics and current affairs content editor at Legit.ng with over 7 years of experience in both digital and traditional media. A graduate of English Studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, Aanu started his journalism career as a features writer. Aanu, who is also a creative writer has written books and children magazines. He once anchored some specialised pages of a national newspaper. Aanu is also a satirist.