EXPOSED: Why Soldiers Don’t Want Banditry To End – Sheikh Gumi
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, A popular Islamic cleric, has said the Fulani herders told him that soldiers don’t want banditry and kidnapping to end because of what soldiers are getting from it.
The cleric was reacting to the allegations that he recently said the soldiers don’t want banditry and kidnapping to end, clearing that “I didn’t say that. It was the bandits that told me.”
Sheikh Gumi who is now well known with the northern-Nigeria bandits said it is clear that the soldiers don’t want banditry to end because they have not been responding to his request for negotiation with the herders.
The cleric in an interview with the BBC Hausa service on Saturday said, We have tried our best to discuss with the security personnel and the police really cooperated with us. But the army didn’t cooperate with us because it is difficult to even meet their leaders.”
“Everyone has witnessed it that we negotiated with these people and they promised to drop their weapons and stop these activities, and I even promised to meet the president about the matter. But why will the army bomb their place?”
However, Sheikh Gumi said he is still with his opinion that there should be dialogue between the government and the bandits to bring about a solution to the insecurity challenges in the North.
Reacting to governor El-Rufa’i’s view that the cleric’s approach is not the solution to banditry, Gumi said he didn’t agree since it works for states like Zamfara.
El-Rufai had told Gumi, to stop wasting his time negotiating with bandits across the North-West states, adding that the bandits cannot agree to drop their arms having received ransom in millions from kidnap victims.
But Gumi in response says, “There are state governors that are of the view that negotiation is the best solution and they have seen and benefited from that.
“If you go to Zamfara before, between Gusau and Shinkafi was like the Birnin Gwari of Kaduna state. But if you go there now people are back into their farms and raring due to the government’s effort in negotiation with the bandits. So as you can see the dialogue has worked there.”