The Naija Weekly. April 25, 2021.
Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi has insisted that the federal government adhere to his advice and grant bandits amnesty to surrender their arms.
Mr Gumi who was reacting to the killing of three students of Greenfield University in Kaduna by bandits told Punch that the killing of the students was an indication that bandits are at war with the nation.
Three students of Greenfield University were found dead on Saturday, three days after they were abducted with several others from their school, Peoples Gazette reported.
Mr Gumi, an indigene of Kaduna state said the attack in Kaduna is becoming more serious and needs the Kaduna State government to reconsider its stance against negotiation with bandits.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had constantly reiterated that he would not negotiate with bandits but to crush them.
Mr Gumi is well known for playing a go-between role which has led to the release of abducted students of Niger and Katsina States but said, “I need the government’s support before I can do anything, and I think there is a great misunderstanding and poor reading of the situation on the ground. So, I’m really helpless; I don’t know what actually I can do as of now.”
Nonetheless, he recommended that “The way forward is for the government to listen to us, because those people (bandits) are ready to listen to us. If the government will cooperate and listen to us, I think there will be peace but we are finding it difficult to get the government’s attention.”
The Islamic scholar said the situation in the northern part of the country is like that of the Iraq war, noting that there are a lot of things he can offer with government cooperation.
“We are in a war situation. As we are talking now, they (military) are dropping bombs on them (bandits). You cannot protect your children and you are dropping bombs on the enemies!
“You remember the Iran-Iraq war when they were bombing Baghdad and Tehran and they didn’t care about the civilians. When young girls (and boys) are killed like that, you should know that it is not just criminality, it is beyond criminality, it is a war,” the news outlet quoted Gumi.