Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has insisted that granting amnesty to bandits is the solution to stopping the bloodshed in the northern regions.
Gumi, who has been calling for amnesty for bandits, said labelling bandits as terrorists will compound “a very simple problem”.
Speaking during the enrolment of the third group of students into the free orphans’ healthcare and education support programme organised by the Kawo Islamic Foundation in Kaduna, the cleric advised the Federal Government against shedding more blood.
According to him, “If there is anything that can stop the shedding of blood, it is better just like what happened with the Niger Delta militants, they were shedding blood and vandalising pipelines, but where they were ready to drop their weapons with an amnesty that will take care of them, I think the same thing can apply to herdsmen.
“We have met them and they are ready to put down their arms, but when they put down their arms if you do not educate them and provide them with funds to take care of them, they will go back to the same old ways. Still, we call for amnesty and stopping all hostilities because we know how we can deal with it peacefully.”
On if labelling bandits as terrorist is the solution to ending insecurity, he said, “Labelling them as terrorists will compound a very simple problem, they are simply naïve criminals and when you label them as terrorists like Boko Haram and ISWAP, they may join forces with them which will give an impetus to real terrorism.
“To deal with naïve and uneducated criminals, it will be detrimental to us to label them terrorists; we should fight them when fighting is useful, but dialogue is the ultimate solution.”
He commended the foundation for taking up the upkeep of orphans in the community and hoped that every community in the state could establish such a foundation to cater for the orphans.