Sheikh Ahmad Gumi says bandits are peaceful who just victims of circumstances.
Gumi made this statement while speaking to journalists during an interview.
However, the famous Islamic cleric condemned the acts of criminality perpetrated by the bandits but insists that they were forced into crime due to unpalatable circumstances.
According to Gumi: “When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know.
“There is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing a crime.
“I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality.
“And this is what we should look at, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”
Recall that bandits raided Niger state, abducting about 41 persons, and later asked for ransom to the sum of $1.3 million and the release of their arrested mates by security agencies.
Though the state Governor said his administration would not pay for the ransom, they might exchange the captured bandits in exchange for the abductees.
Gumi was reported to be in the forefront negotiating with the bandit to claim the release of the abductees. He has been the voice of the bandits as he pleaded with the federal government to grant them amnesty.
However, Gumi denied that he was in anyway negotiating with bandits.