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Fulani Bandits: “Nigeria Fighting A Tribal War”, There Must Be Amnesty For Them —Sheikh Gumi |The Republican News

Popular Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Gumi, has declared that Nigerian is fighting a tribal war, insisting there must be amnesty for bandits if they must quit the forests.

According to him, “Government is supposed to be the mediator, they’re supposed to be neutral and not take sides and the moment the government begins to take sides, it becomes part of the conflicts. And this is what I saw in Zamfara, Niger and other states.

Sheikh Gumi made this remarks while appearing on Arise TV’s ‘Morning Show’ anchored by the trio of Dr. Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Tundun Abiola today.

The cleric while noting that the bandits are committing all sorts of atrocities -, rape, killings, also posited that atrocities have been committed against them by various tribes across Nigeria insisting that “This is tribal war going on and the government taking one side.

“When you said these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agree they are committing crimes – they are killing people, they are , they are raping, they are doing all sorts of atrocities.

“But, have you for once go to their own sides and see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?

“Do you know that an ordinary herdsman is lynched in many towns in Nigeria? We have seen that in Oyo, we have seen that in Anambra, we have seen that in many regions of Nigeria.

“I think there should be well meaning Nigerians that should stay neutral in this tribal war.”

Elaborating on his call for amnesty for the bandits, Gumi said they are ready to surrender if government will provide means of livelihood for them.

“The example about what happened in the Niger Delta, I think we take example from that. When they were vandalising pipelines, which is an umbilical cord for the nation’s economy, the nation came into negotiation with them and they were even given the pipelines to guard.

“Now, the herdsmen are controlling a big chunk of land whereby now they are preventing farmers from farming and it’s very important to the economy of the nation because when you leave a big big chunk of the population hungry without farming, it’s going to affect the economy.

“In the same sense, as the Niger delta are important to the economy, these herdsmen have become important to the economy because they are preventing people from farming.

“They can be our guards, they guard the forests. We have spoken to them, we have seen them guarding the forest in Shinkafi area of Zamfara state where for sometimes now, more than 10months, there has been no kidnapping and they have even freed people that were kidnapped,” Gumi said.

He dismissed the amnesty granted to bandits by Katsina State Governor Bello Masari, describing it “political amnesty” without any package.

“When you grant a political amnesty, I mean amnesty in the front of the press and the media but in the real sense there was no amnesty.

“Amnesty comes with a package. The package is you rehabilitate these criminals, you provide for them social amenities like schools, hospitals, etc.

“You entice them to leave the forests by providing them with skills or one kind of profession. But there is no any project put forward.”

Gumi also pointed out that the herdsmen aren’t in a hurry to negotiate because there are thousands of persons in their possession.

“Look at the sufferings Nigerians are going through simply because we’re not in dialogue with these people. These people aren’t aliens from Mars or from the outer space, they are Nigerians, we know them,  we know their relatives, we know everything about them and have qualities that we can tap on, that’s the Fulani man, he’s known to be shy, respectful to his elders and they work in unity and community.

“We can gather them all together, they’re ready even to sit down. They told me they’re ready to sit down with the government. So I don’t know what is stopping the national Congress of the herdsmen.

“If they come together and say the way is finished, I don’t see any Fulani man wrecking that agreement. It needs engagement from the government.( Journalist101)

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Kidnappings, Killings Won’t End Until Government Negotiate With Fulani Bandits, Herdsmen —Sheikh Gumi |RN

■ Wants bandits, herdsmen conscripted into security outfit

By Godsgift Onyedinefu

Renowned Islamic Cleric,  Sheik Shmad Abubakar Gumi has said the bandits and Fulani herdsmen responsible for kidnappings, killings and other forms of criminality in parts of the country are ready to put their arms down, if only government will give them a listening ear.

The cleric recently embarked on a peace visit to some talks these bandits  in Kaduna, Zamfara and Sokoto States to dialogue with them.

The cleric, during an interview on NigeriaInfo radio, said his visit found that the bandits have genuine reasons to resort to violence, but said they are ready to dialogue with government to find a lasting solution.

He regrets that government had been unwilling to dialogue and dialogue with the bandits and generally not serious about ending the conflict.

He said, “Government should come down and negotiate with this people,  they are ready to out down their weapons, but to talk with government is something difficult.

“The best thing is just to negotiate with them. Government must listen, not the bandits, they are humans, they eat normal lives, the ball is 100 percent in the court of government.

“They have listening ears, they have grievances,  they are oppressed by government and society.  Its a question of, if government is serious. “

He decried that since his return from the visit no responsible person from government has shown willingness to negotiate with him.

Gumi further recommended that the bandits and Fulani herdsmen be conscripted into a security outfit like done in the Civilian Joint Task Force to support peace efforts and military forces that are already overwhelmed.

“Incorporate them into the security system,  plan, they are Nigerians, or Nigerians should be ready to be kidnapped “, he said.

Gumi further regrets that the conflict has lasted the to lack of foresight on the part of government and activities of corrupt officials in government who are reaping from the conflict.

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Bandits Are Nigerian Fulanis, No Military Solution To Farmer-Herder Conflict —Usman Yusuf |The Republican News

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Former executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf

■ Explains his peace mission with Sheik Gumi

■ Calls for Amnesty to the armed bandits

By Jude Johnson

A former Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, has said there is no military solution to the current spate of insecurity in the North and other parts of the country.

He said security challenges such as banditry and herders crisis in the North and other parts of the country cannot be solved by military action alone.

While owning up that those behind the security challenges in the North are actually Fulanis, Yusuf called for more dialogue than Military actions in achieving peace across the states.

The Professor said this on Arise News Morning Show on Monday, where he narrated his experience with groups of Fulani herdsmen in Zamfara State alongside renowned Islamic Scholar Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.

He said, “We have to accept and not deny that these bandits are our Fulanis, not foreign Fulanis. They are our flesh and blood. Once we accept that then we forget all these conspiracies and face realities.

“What we will also not do, we will not deny them, but we are not proud of them.”

Yusuf who accompanied Gumi to the camps of these bandits in Zamfara to negotiate for peace, said strategies adopted by the Federal Government to stop their operation far outweighed the demands of the bandits.

He added, “Anyone that tells you he does not dialogue with non-state actors is not a student of history. And for anyone to tell you, there is a military option to this, is not true.

“Now we have been there, and there is no foot of any security there. They are just throwing bombs to who, on whom? On birds? On cattle? No. You do all the killings and bombings and at the end, you come and sit on the table.

“Now is the time to have dialogues, there is no military solution to this conflict. They are small, they are mobile, they are fearless, they are in the forest.

Yusuf and Sheik Gumi recently visited the bandits in their enclaves in Zamfara State
“We need to draw them close and talk to them, and to be honest, their grievances are not much. Their grievances are not anywhere close to that of the Niger Delta people and it would cause less than a bomb to sort out the problem.

“So, listening to people in any conflict is the first thing to do, Military option is not a solution, and there is nowhere in the world that Military alone takes care of security, No.”

Describing that the bandits he saw were from the ages of between 13 and 17 years with heavy machine guns, he pleaded for dialogue rather than throwing of bombs.

He also called on the Federal Government to provide basic needs such as education, employment, school, and clinic among others.

“They were smoking marijuana when they started reciting the Quran and I could see them; they were dropping the marijuana and extinguishing it.

“So we need to reach out to their hearts and bring them close, these are kids for goodness sake, 13, 15, 17 doing all this.

“There is a window if they are willing to listen and this would not be the last time. We need to be talking to them, discussing with them, these are the issues of the place. They need borehole. They need clinics, they need school, then you get them gainfully employed.

“Then speak with vigilantes, they are killing them in town. See what’s happening in Zulu, Kantagora, anarchy, lawlessness everywhere,” he said.

The former NHIS boss further pleaded for self-responsibility, saying, “it is not the preserve of the government or the security agencies. It is ours and it affects us”.

The country has recounted huge losses in the last 43 days in 2021. Just in February alone, the country has recorded over 45 cases of killings and abduction in some parts of the country.

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