Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has alleged that bandits and criminal herdsmen learnt kidnapping from the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).
Sheikh Gumi stated this on Africa Independent Television (AIT) programme on Tuesday, while calling on the federal government could grant amnesty to bandits.
The cleric said if the government could grant amnesty to ‘kidnapping’ militants, he doesn’t see any reason why the same gesture can’t be extended to bandits.
Gumi said only 10 percent of Fulani herdsmen are criminals, adding that the ‘criminal herdsmen’ took up weapons to protect themselves from extinction after their cows, which he described as their “oil,” were rustled.
He added that if the government grants them amnesty, the other 90 percent of the herdsmen will reveal the identity of the criminals among them.
“We didn’t take a different route of trying to solve this problem and that is why we are still here today. And when we say amnesty, we don’t mean that anyone proved to be involved in murder should go free as such.”
“They learnt kidnapping from MEND. I do not see any difference. They were the first victims of rustling. Their cattle is their oil. What we are seeing now is more of an insurgency than banditry. I can say 10 percent of the herders are criminals not 90 percent, in the end, they took up weapons to protect themselves from extinction.
“They themselves can take care of the little remnants of criminals among themselves because they don’t want anybody to bring mayhem to them,” he said.
KanyiDaily recalls that Sheikh Gumi had said that those agitating for Biafra and Oduduwa Republics are nuisance just like Boko Haram terrorists.
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