- Sheik Gumi has said the armed bandits in the north can only surrender if they are assured of their safety
- The Islamic cleric insisted that the appropriate step the government needs to take is to dialogue with the bandits
- Gumi also reiterated his earlier stance that the bandits should be granted amnesty
Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has said the armed bandits terrorising the north may not drop their arms if they are not sure of their safety.
The cleric who has recently met with the bandits in a bid to persuade them to drop their criminal acts said this during a virtual event hosted by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Daily Trust reported.
Sheik Gumi was quoted to have said:
“If you don’t show them they’re safe in the larger society, there’s no way they can leave their weapon. And that’s why we asked for amnesty for them just like we had in the Niger Delta.”
Legit.ng gathers that the cleric insisted that the Nigerian government should dialogue with the bandits, The Cable also reported.
“Nobody can justify criminality, what we are saying is what we saw in the forest is an ethnic war going on between people in the forest and the neighbouring villages and hamlets. When the herder felt he has grievances and nobody was listening to him, he took on weapons.
“So when we went there and they saw a listening ear, they were ready to negotiate, tell us their grievances, and ready to incorporate into society. So in such a case, I see no reason why we should not have a dialogue with them."
The Nigerian president at a security meeting on Thursday, February 25, said his administration will deal decisively with bandits, kidnappers, and insurgents.
Buhari who was represented by his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, said it is time to treat criminals as criminals and stop ethnic profiling.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_