Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has declared that past administrations as well as the government of President Muhammadu Buhari have not handled the issue of bandits correctly.
He stated on Monday that the bandits have not been engaged enough and that is why there has been a recent increase in their activities.
According to him, most of the bandits are making a rush to get enough money before security agents close in on them and that is why killings of kidnap victims have increased recently.
Additionally, Gumi noted that most of the bandits he has engaged with have laid down their arms and are ready for negotiation but a few who don’t trust the process are the ones responsible for the upsurge noticed in banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
“What is happening is like when you spray an insecticide in a room infested by mosquitoes, there would be an initial reaction, which is what is happening. There is an uncoordinated pressure from both sides on bandits; maybe that is why it’s now producing the results we see.
“But what I think is happening is that nobody spoke to them to draw attention to their problem, so they are terribly divided.
“Most of the bandits we spoke with have put down their arms and are ready to resume negotiation. On the other hand, there are some few others who are saying ‘we will overtake them so in the meantime, we will make the most gain of the system’ that is why they are so much in a hurry that they now kill their victims, they now want payment of ransom done quicker than when they had enough time and the forest to themselves,” he said in a chat with Daily Post.
Gumi concluded that he blames all past administrations and the current government for failing to engage the herdsmen constructively which is what is now responsible for banditry.
“The long process of neglect by previous administrations of herdsmen, complete neglect, marginalization, and nobody showing concern about their plight has led to what we have now, so in that case, I blame all the previous governments.
“This government should tackle this issue the right way; they are trying to tackle the problem the wrong way, thereby making the matter worse,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has said there was no truth in the reports making the rounds that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is under the siege of terrorists.
In a statement on Sunday by the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Yusuf Maria, said the Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, has assured Nigerians that security agencies in the country were working hard to ensure the safety of the lives and property of residents.
Ciroma, however, asked residents of the FCT to shun the report, which was meant to create tension and go about their duties without any fear.