I advocate for bandits in national interest – Gumi
CONTROVERSIAL Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, says the unity of Nigeria is the primary reason for his often derided advocacy for bandits.
Gumi, who stated this yesterday in a chat with journalists, implored the Federal Government not to declare the bandits as terrorists over the fear of a possible increase in criminal activities in the country.
On his interaction with the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, on the nation’s insecurity, he said: “The National Security Adviser met with me. I spoke with him; in fact, I told him my view about the issue. So, he is in the picture.
“The top military commanders too, we had a meeting with them and they know, the governors, they know my stand.
“Although they may have a different view about the issue, they all know my stand and I am doing it for the national interest. I am looking for a lasting solution that will seal the problem, not giving Panadol to somebody suffering from malaria. You know Panadol will suppress the fever but it will not kill the parasites.
“So, we want a real cure to the problem. That is why I think that what I have been advocating is relevant to some extent but there are some changes.
“You know conflicts are dynamic, they can start with a word but by the time they end, they have completely taken a new dimension because there are interest groups, so many interest groups in Nigeria.
“They are taking sides. So, it’s going to be a big conflict if the interests are sustained more than what we have now.”
“I wouldn’t like the federal government to declare the bandits as terrorists because it will take a completely different dimension. What we are saying is that these people are hearing whatever we are saying in the bush.
“They have everything, they listen. Usually, whatever we say in the papers is translated. We have this Muryar Arewa (Hausa newspaper), they listen to the Hausa radio because they understand Hausa; most of them understand Hausa. They listen to what is said by the government and this is one of the reasons I think we had problems in negotiating with them.”