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Gumi: Bandits Won’t Drop Their Arms If They Don’t Feel Safe

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Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic cleric, says if bandits aren’t assured of their safety and rehabilitation, they’re going to not abandoning of their arms.

Gumi made the discussion Wednesday during a virtual event hosted by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.

The meeting was organized to debate Nigeria’s security challenges.

The cleric said he sees no reason why the govt shouldn’t dialogue with the bandits who are willing to barter.

Gumi said: “Nobody can justify criminality, what we are saying is what we saw within the forest is an ethnic war happening between people within the forest and therefore the neighboring villages and hamlets. When the herder felt he has grievances and no-one was taking note of him, he took on weapons.

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“So once we went there and that they saw a listening ear, they were able to negotiate, tell us their grievances, and prepared to include into the society. So in such a case, I see no reason why we should always not have a dialogue with them.

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Gumi said if they’re not shown that they’ll be safe when reintegrated into society, they’re going to not hand over their arms.

The cleric also reiterated that they ought to tend amnesty within the same vein because of the Niger Delta militants.

He said: “Looking at their educational status, they don’t have any official or unofficial education. How can a nation which is serious about security leave a piece of its society so uneducated, leave it to arms and drugs? I don’t think that society is serious. How can we disperse them, rehabilitate them because they’re holding arms to guard themselves?

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“If you don’t show them they’re safe within the larger society, there’s no way they will leave their weapon. And that’s why we asked for amnesty for them a bit as we had within the Niger Delta.

“I’m not justifying their kidnapping, what they are doing is a crime. But their kidnapping is to urge extra money to shop for more weapons so that they will protect themselves.”

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