Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has disclosed why he opted to meet with bandits terrorizing the Northern part of the country.
Gumi disclosed that his interaction with bandits was borne out of his quest to find a solution to the crisis in the North.
Speaking with DAILY POST, the controversial Islamic cleric said bandits want peace and are willing to interact with well meaning Nigerians who can be trusted.
He, however, maintained that military confrontation was not the solution to banditry.
Gumi stressed that military confrontation would lead to collateral damage for both the security agencies and the country.
According to Gumi: “My interest is that my own country is ravaged with a problem nobody is willing to find a solution to, loss of life, peasant farmers can’t farm anymore. And we as intellectuals can’t fold arms and wait for the government to solve our problems. We have to do it ourselves.
“And as a trained medical doctor, you don’t tackle a problem without diagnosis; that is what made me veer into it, going into the bush to find the solution.
“The solution we found indicates that there can never be military attacks because the collateral damage would be too much for them and the country.
“Look at the American Army, they have not been able to conquer the Taliban and I can tell you that the nomadic Fulanis are more in number than Talibans, so a military conflict is not the solution.
“Suddenly, I realized that these people too want peace and that gave me the inspiration that I should take this dialogue to the national stage, let Nigerians understand that we are doing this to broker permanent peace by sitting down with these people and showing them what is possible and what is not.
“And they are ready for that so I don’t see why Nigerians should be so engrossed. Many people are not ready for discussion once they hear Fulani, so also in the bush, once they hear vigilante they say ‘we can never sit down to discuss anything with them’. So I think well meaning Nigerians who can be trusted to come in between.”