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Bandits are going nowhere except they are given amnesty -Gumi

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CONTROVERSIAL Islamic Cleric Ahmad Gumi has said that bandits currently troubling the northern part of Nigeria are going nowhere.

He stated this in a social media statement on Monday.

Gumi, who said military action against the terrorists would only worsen the country’s security situation, enjoined the Federal Government to grant them amnesty as it did to Niger Delta militants.

“Let us face the reality, these herdsmen are going nowhere, and they are already in battle gear, and we know our Military very well, so before things get messy, we need cold brains to handle this delicate situation,” he said.

“Military actions in the past have worsened the situation stimulating herdsmen resistance. Any more action will push them closer to religious fanaticism.”

He blamed the government’s negligence for the conduct of the terrorists, whom he said were peaceful herders.

He noted that they only turned into criminals from 2015 when their cattle were rustled to be sold in the southern part of the country.

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He said that because of their educational status and lack of effective unified leadership, the herders had faced untold hardship in the hands of authorities where they were extorted and stereotyped.

The stereotypes from both authorities and their immediate communities, Gumi said, made the herders acquire weapons with which they now terrorised people in the North-West, especially in Zamfara State.

“This conflict can be resolved by active engagement of the government with the agitators. Just as we saw how ENDSARS agitation was swiftly managed after an initial scandalous failed military confrontation, was peacefully resolved by the government, likewise, the herdsmen crisis can be.”

“Just as we had the Niger Delta conflict resolved with an amnesty which comes with reconciliation, reparation, and rehabilitation packages, so will the herdsmen crisis be resolved. In fact, there is a need for a Marshal plan to educate the nomadic pastoralist so that no citizen is left behind.”

“These measures I enumerated are cheaper, easier, and lasting than the kinetic approach which is now taking place. No military especially of a poor economy can win guerrilla warfare. The recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a factual warning for those that contemplate.”

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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