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Bandits Have Collaborators In Nigerian Military, Government – Gumi

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Popular Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, has revealed that bandits operating in the North West region of the country have collaborators in the Nigerian Military and in government.

Naija News reports that Gumi recently went into forests in Zamfara State, to discuss with the bandits to surrender their weapons and accept amnesty.

Speaking to the PUNCH on Saturday, the cleric noted that some military personnel shield the bandits from arrest and provide information to them.

Gumi asked the government to engage the bandits in dialogue and grant them amnesty in order to solve the banditry problem rather than using military might.

He, however, warned that if the government failed to quickly dialogue with the bandits, banditry would also spread to the South.

The cleric also asked the government to reintegrate the bandits into society by building schools, hospitals and other amenities for them.

He said, “These people (bandits) know how to organise themselves and protect themselves and they have started attacking villages all around. Once you touch one of them, the whole of them will come together to attack a village. They mobilise themselves through the bush. So, it is not good to attack them, honestly speaking. The Hausa are suffering and they have therefore stopped attacking the Fulani herdsmen. So, we should not attack them. We should just pacify them and they are very shy people. If you meet them, they are very shy.

He added, “When you offer them amnesty, they drop their weapons. Then you go in, build schools for them, build hospitals for them, get them censored; get them registered; then you can control (them).

“You can’t have access to them through the gun. Honestly, they know the terrain in the bush more than our military. So, it is better to negotiate with them.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.