A popular Nigeria Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has declared that the ongoing kidnappings and killings by bandits in the country is a tribal war.
Speaking in an interview with Arise news TV on Wednesday, the cleric claimed the government who ordinarily should have been neutral in the fight is taking side with other tribes against the bandits especially the security agencies.
Justifying his tribal war claims, Sheikh Gumi explained that the bandits are fighting tribal war with the Yorubas in the South, Igbos in the East and other tribes in the North.
“What you call banditry, when you cross to the other side, you discover Nigeria is fighting a tribal war and government is supposed to be a mediator and be neutral, not to take side.
“By the moment government takes side, it becomes part of the conflict. And this is what I saw in Zamfara State, in Niger State and others” said Gumi.
“When you said these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agree they are committing crimes, they are killing people, they are kidnapping, they are raping people, they are doing all sorts of atrocities.
“But have you for once go to their own sides to see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?” He asked.
Describing the bandits as victims also, sheihk Gumi reiterated his call for armnesty to the bandits as a solution to end the banditry in the country.
“Do you know that an ordinary herdsman is lynched in many towns in Nigeria? We have seen that in Oyo, we have seen that in Anambra, we have seen that in many regions of Nigeria” he said.
Sheihk Gumi also accused the Army of colluding with the bandits as he said the bandits are enjoying cooperation of some bad elements in the Military.
He said most of the bandits need education and if he can get the cooperation of the government, he can take the arms from them and take them to School, but if he takes arm from them and allow them go they will take another arm again.
Sheikh Gumi also suggested that the bandits can also be part of the military team to end banditry, claiming one Fulani organization called ‘Gang Allah’ came to him that they have seven commanders and one comander has more than 300 boys that are ready if the military is willing to collaborate with them they will put an end to the banditry in the country.
You would recall that Sheikh Gumi has been in charge of negotiation with bandits, holding meetings with them in the forest and government representatives for the release of many captives from the bandits den.
Meanwhile, the Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has revealed that the Bandits are not Nigerians but foreigners hired to commit atrocities in Nigeria.