Ahmad Gumi, the controversial Kaduna based prominent Islamic cleric, has warned federal against labelling bandits wreaking havoc in northern part of the as terrorists.
Gumi said such move would portend danger for the country, noting that to declare bandits terrorists was to make the country vulnerable to incursion of foreign jihadists.
Recall that Gumi, who has been interfacing with the bandits on behalf of people who have been at the receiving end of their nefarious activities, once implored the government to grant amnesty to the bandits as it did with the Niger Delta militants.
Gumi’s recent stance came amid renewed clamour to declare the bandits as terrorists.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Gumi warned the government against heeding the advice of the people, noting that such move will further aggravate the precarious situation the country is enmeshed in.
The cleric also said the terrorism tag on the bandits would attract some unemployed youths.
He, however, admitted that what the Bandits are doing over time has become synonymous with terrorism because innocent people were being killed.
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âYet, innocence these days is relative. We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. Itâs right for vigilantes to lynch Fulanis herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds” the statement read.
âYet again, the only helpful part that is against Bandits is that no other than them are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and coloration. However, the moment they are termed Terrorist â Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force. And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive. Shouting âAllahu Akbarâ plus AK47 against a âsecularâ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden â the majority of our youth. Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits.
âThis will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a âJihadâ as they will claim. In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is- has the moral high ground to fight back? This is the most probable consequence, the price of which is not worth it. Nothing stops the kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics” Gumi said.