New Telegraph

Declaring bandits terrorists, political gimmick –Gumi

…says it’ll not change anything on ground

Kaduna – based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, has described the declaration of bandits as terrorists a mere political decision that will not change anything. Gumi said the federal government has succumbed to media blackmail by a section of the country, adding that it; “will not have any practical value because even before the declaration they are being fought and treated as terrorists.” Gumi in a statement by Malam Tukur Mamu, his Media Consultant, said: “So it’s just a nomenclature which I believe will not change the dynamics on ground.’’

He explained that: “If you can remember IPOB was also declared a terrorist organisation, the declaration was even backed by the order of the Court but as you can see even the international community did not recognise FG’s declaration of IPOB. So it has failed to be effective or to achieve the desired results.

“They have not been ban from travelling to other countries while their citizenship remains intact, it has not been denounced. So what type of declaration is that? ‘‘I sincerely hope that Nigerians will not take the herdsmen as terrorists but should regard the criminality of the few among them against innocent people as acts of terrorism just as we see IPOB and their attacks on security agencies and other northern citizens as acts of terrorism. Very few herdsmen are bandits if you go through their population. “I hope this declaration will not give the license to people to be profiling herdsmen in general as terrorists and taking laws into their hands against them.

It will cause more mayhem. “The declaration will not change anything, it will not change the dynamics. Already the military is engaging them. It didn’t stop them from kidnappings and killings. The declaration will not end their aggression against the society.” Gumi added that: “The Fulani banditry is a socio-economic problem. We have seen it, we interacted widely with them. We told the federal government the way out. It can only be won through engagement, dialogue and justice. That is why today there is relative peace in the Niger Delta because government has accepted the painful reality of rehabilitating and empowering them.”

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