Famous Islamic cleric believed to be the Spokesman of Bandits in Nigeria, Sheik Abubakar Gumi Wednesday alleged on Arise Television interview that a number of Nigerian security operatives are involved in acts of aiding banditry in the country, as the criminal act has become big business.
According to the cleric who has consistently called for negotiations between the government, and the bandits that have taken to the trade of kidnapping, some “bad elements” in the security system are cooperating with the bandits.
Gumi said many people are involved in the crime of banditry, as the act has become a business.
He maintained that the country’s security architecture was working with the bandits, explaining that some security operatives were caught in Zamfara and other parts of the country.
He queried, “How can these big weapons get across our borders into the forests without the cooperation of some bad elements in the security system? It’s not possible.”
He called for a rejig of the country’s security system, noting that to fight banditry, there was a need to overhaul Nigeria’s security structure.
Meanwhile, he said it was time for the government to “put a bridge” for the bandits to “crossover and sit down with the authorities” in dialogue, to enable the release of the captives in the den of the bandits.
He also stated that the issue of banditry in the country was a tribal war, in which the government was not supposed to take sides.
According to him, the so-called bandits are Fulani herdsmen who had been victimized by people of other tribes, so they took up arms to protect themselves.
In another breath, Gumi suggested to the Federal Government to disband Vigilante groups and make bandits forests guards throughout Nigeria a suggestion that Nigerians promptly shredded and termed laughable.
But the cleric is also advocating that the bandits be granted amnesty just as the Niger Delta militants were but again critics objected because it has been established that the Fulani bandits are actually not Nigerians but came from the West African frontiers to torment Nigerians so how can the nation grant amnesty to foreign tormentors?