Controversial Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has stirred another controversy with his recent submission that labelling bandits as terrorists will compound a simple problem.
The cleric, who is popular for his defensive position when it comes to the issue of bandits, said bandits can’t be compared to established terrorists such as Boko Haram and ISWAP.
He described bandits as naive criminals who are only looking for a means of survival.
Speaking at the enrolment of the third group of students into the free orphans’ healthcare and education support programme organised by the Kawo Islamic Foundation in Kaduna, Gumi reiterated his stand that the government shouldn’t label bandits as terrorists.
In his view, if the bandits are labelled as terrorists, as many stakeholders have been calling on the federal government to do, they may join forces with the real terrorists and cause more harm.
Instead, the cleric said the government should dialogue with them.
In his words, “Labelling them as terrorists will compound a very simple problem, they are simply naïve criminals and when you label them as terrorists like Boko Haram and ISWAP, they may join forces with them which will give an impetus to real terrorism.
“To deal with naïve and uneducated criminals, it will be detrimental to us to label them terrorists; we should fight them when fighting is useful, but dialogue is the ultimate solution.”
Naija News recalls that before this latest submission, Gumi had similarly warned against declaring bandits as terrorists, adding that the decision will come with a price.
This is coming after lawmakers in the National Assembly charged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists following attacks in the Northern part of the country.
Gumi in a post on his Facebook account last Sunday noted that the actions of bandits in the Northwest which has seen innocent people killed is tantamount to terrorism.
He, however, said the moment bandits are declared terrorists, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in force, and many unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive.
Gumi added that nothing stops kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics.
The Islamic cleric charged an Igbo cleric to reach out to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and talk sense to them, while a pastor in the Southwest does the same to bring peace to the country at large.