Gumi builds school for herdsmen; Fulani pastor, imams commend initiative

November 16, 2021
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Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has named a school he built for Kaduna’s herdsmen as Sheikh Uthman Bin Fodio Centre.

The school, funded by the Sultan Mosque Foundation Ltd, is situated at Kagarko Grazing Reserve near Kohoto village forest in Kaduna State.

According to him, the centre is designed to educate herdsmen, and would be replicated everywhere in the country.

The Kaduna-based clric said instead of spending billions on military hardware to fight the bandits, Nigeria should spend such on schools and teachers to educate the herdsmen.

Gumi added he had spoken with the bandits and they have expressed willingness to drop their arms and embrace peace if their children could be given education and other social amenities.

“If they are educated, they will not be doing what they are doing. So, we say we must take education to the grassroots and we embarked on the project to also be an example for others, local government, state and federal and rich individuals, even cooperative societies to come together and make sure that we are directed across the forest to know what we can do to carter for nomads. It does not cost much, very little and it will help to educate them and we will live peacefully with them.

“What we have here is a centre containing six classrooms that can be used for primary, secondary schools and at various times. You can teach all categories at all times and the place will be engaged for 24 hours because the herdsmen usually take their cattle out by 10am and bring them back by dawn or sunset. So they have two hours before they take their cattle away and we have 2 to 3 hours because we like to put some solar lights so that they can read in the night.”

Gumi denied making a statement that Nigeria will no longer exist if bandits are declared as terrorists, adding that he was quoted out of context.

Gumi said that though the construction of the centre was still ongoing, the three tiers of government could come in and partner on training the herdsmen on how they can be economically viable.

The community’s Fulani leader, Ardo Ahmed Tahiru, Imam Tafa Dahiru and a Christian cleric, Luka Mai Ungwar all commended Sheikh Gumi for the gesture, stressing that the project has brought unity.

Gumi has been unpopular for his insistence on amnesty for bandits and violent Fulani herders willing to surrender.

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