An Islamic cleric, Shiekh Ahmad Gumi, has explained why he stopped negotiations with bandits in the northern part of Nigeria.
Nigerians had criticized Gumi for asking the Federal and state governments to negotiate with bandits and gradually reintegrate them into society.
In a statement issued on Thursday by his media aide, Salisu Hassan, the cleric said he stopped the negotiations with bandits due to the Kaduna State government’s opposition to the strategy.
The statement read: “No, it is not that Sheikh is busy. The problem is that the government is not interested in reconciling with those people.
“So, Sheikh just tried to have some other way so that he can achieve his goals. The Kaduna State government said they are not interested in negotiations.”
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had repeatedly expressed his opposition to negotiation with bandits.
In a recent chat with journalists in Kaduna, the governor said the state government would not engage the criminals in any form of negotiations, insisting that the bandits do not deserve an olive branch.
He said: “Our position in Kaduna State has been clear, unequivocal, and consistent. Bandits, cattle rustlers, and armed militias must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.
“We will neither negotiate with criminals of any description nor support any grant of amnesty.
“Criminal gangs, bandits, insurgents, and ethno-religious militias made a conscious choice to challenge Nigeria’s sovereignty and menace our citizens. These criminals must be wiped out immediately and without hesitation.”
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