Kaduna based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has renewed his call for government to grant amnesty to terrorists commonly referred to as bandits terrorizing the North-West and North-Central geopolitical zones of the country.
According to the cleric, if the nation could pardon those who instigated Nigeria’s civil war that killed millions of people, bandits too should be forgiven.
Gumi stated this in Kaduna on Thursday while reacting to comments by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), insisting that for there to be peace, there is need to forgive bandits.
Gumi said: “Even those that instigated civil war, the civil war that millions of people died, were pardoned. I see no reason why we cannot accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty.”
The cleric also denied betraying Christian soldiers during his visits to bandits in the forest, adding that CAN misunderstood him because the video that went viral about his discussion with the bandits was distorted and the actual message manipulated.
He said further: “You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.
“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.
“These people in the bush, who have taken arms; they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we cannot accept their repentance.
“Since that is the bottleneck and it is only the Federal Government that can give them that leverage. Strangely, we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.”
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