- Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, says security agencies have questions to answer about the activities of bandits
- Gumi has raised concerns about how the bandits get their weapons used in committing kidnappings and other crimes
- The cleric has urged the federal government to hold talks with armed herdsmen and bandits to get to know the issues behind their agitations
- However, the Nigerian Army has strongly dismissed Gumi's allegation that troops were conniving with bandits
Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has alleged that there is a collusion between bandits and security agencies.
Gumi claims bandits have access to weapons kept by security agencies
He claims that security agencies enable bandits to have access to the trove of assorted weapons that they own.
The cleric said the bandits now take kidnapping as a business.
“These bandits, if you don’t know, are cooperating with a lot of bad elements in our security system. This is a business. So many people are involved, you’ll be so surprised.''
Gumi questioned how the weapons used by bandits are ferried across the borders to the forest.
“They were caught in Zamfara; they were caught everywhere, how do these big weapons cross our borders? How can these big weapons cross our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some bad element of the security operatives assisting them? It’s not possible. If I give you the same amount of guns can you take it to the UK? You can’t, because the security is alert.''
The cleric advocated for an overhaul of Nigeria’s security system as part of measures to check banditry.
Preacher argues that bandits commit lesser crimes when compared to IPOB
Gumi also blasted those comparing bandits and herdsmen with those of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to him, it is unfair to compare the kidnappers to IPOB members. He said herdsmen’s crimes weigh significantly lesser than those of IPOB,
The preacher claimed that IPOB is killing security officers while the other is kidnapping children to make money and not to kill them.
Nigerian Army reacts
Army's spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement released on Wednesday evening, June 23. He said Sheikh Gumi's sweeping allegation is a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of the patriotic troops.