- Sheikh Ahmadu Gumi has replied those calling for his arrest over his engagements with armed bandits terrorising the north
- Gumi, a Kaduna-based cleric, said those asking security operatives to arrest him are not different from the bandits
- The Islamic cleric added that it is malicious to claim that he is supporting or sponsoring bandits, noting that he was just trying to stop banditry in his own way
Kaduna - Controversial Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described as "clowns" Nigerians calling for his arrest over his engagements with armed bandits terrorizing the northern part of Nigeria.
Gumi, despite public outrage, had repeatedly met with some bandits and asked the federal government to grant them amnesty as it did to the militants in the Niger Delta.
Many Nigerians, however, called for the arrest of the Kaduna-based cleric, accusing him of sponsoring and supporting the bandits.
Killing of 322 police, 642 soldiers, indicate we are in very difficult circumstances, Northern Elders lament
Reacting to the call for his arrest in an interview with Premium Times, Sheikh Gumi said:
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"They are clowns, they don’t know anything about the Nigerian society, they don’t know about the Nigerian constitution and liberty. It is a constitutional right for someone to express his views, so long you are not calling for violence or to harm anybody.
"These people calling for my arrest, I don’t see them different from the bandits. To say that I am supporting or sponsoring bandits is malicious.
"I am just trying to cure them in my own way. I am trying to prevent it my own way and I have seen how my little efforts have helped. I just have a different perspective in addressing the issue. But to encourage them? No. To help them? No. It is impossible. I am also a victim of banditry."
I will no longer mediate for bandits - Sheikh Gumi
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Sheikh Gumi said he has stopped mediating for armed bandits following their declaration as terrorists by the court.
Prior to the declaration of the bandits as terrorists by the Federal High Court in Abuja, Gumi had visited them in the forests in Zamfara and Niger states.
With the recent declaration of the bandits as terrorists, Gumi said it will be dangerous for him to continue to engage the bandits.