Controversial Islamic cleric and bandits mediator, Ahmad Gumi, reveals his plan to quit mediating for armed bandits as the court declares them terrorists.
Gumi disclose this on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES in Kaduna.
The cleric had been ‘the voice’ of bandits as he visited them in Zamfara and Niger states forests. In previous media interviews, Gumi had advised the federal government to grant amnesty to the bandits as was done to the militants in the Niger Delta.
He also urged the federal government and to establish a ‘federal ministry of nomadic affairs’ which will address the grievances and complaints of Fulani cattle herders.
The bandits have been vicious in kidnapping and killing their captives across Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and Sokoto states.
However, a Federal High Court in Abuja declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of terrorism. With their activities sparking national outrage, citizens callef on the federal government to declare bandits ravaging the North-western and the North-central regions as terrorists.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the horrible activities of ‘bandits’ who have been waging a relentless war against ordinary Nigerians in the affected states.
With the declaration of the bandits as terrorists, Mr Gumi said it will be dangerous for him to continue to engage the bandits and he would only be a “spectator in the crisis”.
“Since the federal government has declared them terrorists, I don’t have anything to do with them anymore”, the cleric said.
“I will not like to expose myself to danger again and to put a spotlight on myself unnecessarily,” the cleric said.
“I have tried all I could do to admonish the nation on the best way to do it, but it seems my advice has fell (fallen) on deaf ears.”
“I have endangered my life for peace by going to the forest and engaged the bandits. Among them there are rock bandits, they are dangerous, armed ready to fire.
“It is dangerous, still we risked our lives to see that we bring peace to this nation. Because somebody has to take that risk and we took it and thanked God we came out safely and knowledgeable, knowing how to come about this issue.”
Mr Gumi said “Maybe in the future when the political situation changes for better, we can do it again so that there will be peace, harmony and tranquility in the country.”