A northern Islamic cleric, Ahmed Gumi, has boasted that bandits wreaking havoc across the north of Nigeria some of which he met have repented, canvassing amnesty for the criminals.
EyewitnessMedia gathered that Gumi who has been at the forefront of the negotiation with the bandits who kidnapped Government Science College students in Kagara, Niger State, early this year, reiterated his call for amnesty.
In a recent interview with Roots TV, Gumi said, “All those we met, all of them have stopped being involved in this kidnapping. The ones doing it now are rogue ones who we did not sit down with,” he said.
Gumi did not provide evidence for the claim. But he decried the refusal of the “authorities” to support his mission.
According to him, the process of “sitting down with” other bandits was stalled by “authorities” who do not want it.
“Our processes were arrested and stopped by the Authority, which is not interested in it.”
When asked about the perceived injustice on victims of the bandits with the demand for amnesty, Mr Gumi said he has been a victim of banditry, too.
He said his brother was kidnapped and almost five million naira was paid as ransom to rescue him.
“My very close relative…One of the life time driver of my father. His son — a soldier – eleven of them were ambushed and killed,” he added.
“So, I am a victim of banditry. Then, should I seek revenge and more and more soldiers will die or do I forgive so that most souls will be saved?”
“So, I think it is logical… It is better to stop the more killings and have peace.”
Gumi had led a delegation to visit bandits in their forest bases in Kaduna and Zamfara States for what he said were peace talks, after which he demanded a blanket amnesty for the bandits has been criticised by Nigerians who feel bandits deserve punishment for their heinous crimes.