Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has stated that bandits won’t let go of their arms if they are not assured of their safety and rehabilitation.
Gumi made the comment on Wednesday during a virtual event hosted by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.
The cleric stated that he sees no reason why the government should not dialogue with the bandits who are willing to negotiate.
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Gumi said: “Nobody can justify criminality, what we are saying is what we saw in the forest is an ethnic war going on between people in the forest and the neighboring villages and hamlets. When the herder felt he has grievances and nobody was listening to him, he took on weapons.
“So when we went there and they saw a listening ear, they were ready to negotiate, tell us their grievances, and ready to incorporate into the society. So in such a case, I see no reason why we should not have a dialogue with them.”
Speaking at the event, the cleric also reiterated that they should be given amnesty in the same vein as the Niger Delta militants.