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Gumi cautions FG against declaring bandits as terrorists

By Idowu Abdullahi

Renowned controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has urged the Federal Government to critical consider the merit and demerits of declaring bandits as terrorists in the country, arguing that its disadvantages far outweighs the advantage and that such could further taint efforts been put in place to end insecurity across the North-West region of the country.

He explained that though many critical stakeholders across the nation, including lawmakers have been calling for such declaration, dancing to such tune by the apex government without subjecting the call to rigorous process of careful consideration, the outcome might further escalate insecurity situation in the region.

Through a statement on his social media page, the cleric who admitted that operations of bandits across the country, particularly north-west region amount to terrorism, noted that Nigeria may stop existing as a sovereign and united entity if the central government declared bandits as terrorists.

According to him, the moment bandits are declared as terrorists, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force and the situation may be found palatable and attractive by many teaming unemployed youths.

“Nobody doubts that sentimentalism today overrides sensibility in our polity. For the sake of posterity, some people will have to speak out. The acts the bandits are committing now in NW have gradually over time become tantamount to terrorism because wherever innocent people are fatal victims it’s pure terrorism. Yet, innocence these days is relative.

“We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. It’s right for vigilantes to lynch Fulanis herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds.

“Yet again, the only helpful part that is against bandits is that no other than them are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and coloration. However, the moment they are termed Terrorist – Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force.

“And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive. Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth. Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits. This will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim.

“In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is- has the moral high ground to fight back? This is the most probable consequence, the price of which is not worth it. Nothing stops the kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics,” the statement read.

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