Popular Nigerian Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, has warned against proscribing bandits as terrorists saying foreign jihadists would troop into Nigeria. ayokinews.com reports
Commenting on the recent calls from various Nigerians to declare the armed bandits as terrorists, Sheikh Gumi, in a statement written on his official Facebook page, stated that if the government proscribe the bandits, there would be severe consequences.
He further stated that once the terrorism tag is placed on the bandits, unemployed youths would become attracted.
The statement reads, “The acts the Bandits are committing now in North West 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 North West 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.
“North East is already and is still devastated by this madness for over 12 years. If we allow, terror, to set in into these raw naïve unexposed bandits, North West will be in ruins sooner than later. Already IPOB are destroying South-East, and Igboho has set the ball of confusion rolling in South West. For those who want to destroy the North West, it’s a good recipe. Turn bandits into religious zealots. Tell me, what then remains of Nigeria?”
Gumi, however stated that he has started to get bandits out of their “misadventure” but unfortunately, he has had few helpers and a huge “mountain of antagonists”.