- Many Nigerians are suspicious of Sheik Gumi's dealings with bandits
- However, Gumi has explained that he often meets with the criminals as a spiritual leader, not as a security or government representative
- The cleric noted that this is the best way to get the bandits talking from their hearts
PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates!
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has opened up on how he effectively engages bandits in the north in the search for a middle ground between them and state governments.
The famous Islamic scholar said he and his team approach the criminals as clergymen not as an authority because this will make them more relaxed and confess their crimes, Punch reports.
Gumi said he does this from an understanding of the fact that the bandits are loyal to religious and spiritual influences, adding that if approached by security forces, the criminals will become defensive and hide a lot of information during interrogation.
Claiming that his interactions with bandits have yielded many positive results, the cleric said:
“When you are dealing with somebody engrossed in criminality, if you approach him as a policeman, you will have a problem but if you come to him as a pastor, he will confess all his sins to you.
“So we approach them as clergy, and they feel comfortable to vomit all their problems. Hence, we see how we can appease and help them.
“We are not approaching them as an authority but from the spiritual angle. You know every human being has that spiritual influence, and that is why we are adopting that.”
Moreover, he described persons who are calling for his immediate arrest by the police as nothing but clowns.
Meanwhile, Gumi had urged the federal government to extend blanket amnesty to Fulanis involved in kidnappings as well as everyone carrying a gun in the south.
He made the call in an interview on Sunday, February 21. According to the Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, the bandits involved in kidnappings are Nigerians and not foreigners.
Onyirioha Nnamdi is a graduate of Literature and English Language at the University of Lagos. He is a Politics/Current Affairs Editor who writes on news and political topics for Legit.ng. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in creative and analytical writing. Nnamdi has a major interest in local and global politics.