Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has again asked the Federal Government to extend its amnesty programme to bandits.
In an interview with newsmen on Friday, the cleric said the bandits been ‘forced’ into criminality due to government neglect and lack of political will.
Gumi added that the government to grant amnesty to bandits just like it did to Niger Delta militants.
“When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know,” he said.
He noted that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.
Earlier, Gumi had denied reports that he was either quizzed or invited for questioning by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
Speaking to Channels TV after presiding over a Jummat service at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna State on Friday, Sheikh Gumi said all his interventions with bandits inside the forest were done in collaboration with the support of the government and security agencies, hence he did not commit any offence.
“Nobody Invited me for questioning or any arrest, I can say that categorically,” the Sheik said, adding, “since I ventured into the forest, I went there with full security, the police, with the knowledge of the DSS, traditional rulers and the Fulani leaders, I never went alone”.
He also insisted that he never made any disparaging remarks against the military during his recent live interview on national television.
According to him, there was nowhere in the TV interview that he categorically accused the entire military.