Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, has said the Federal Government should not find it difficult to grant bandits amnesty if coup plotters could be forgiven during the military regime.
He added that even persons who caused the civil war, which claimed millions of lives, were forgiven.
Gumi explained that the bandits are willing to drop their arms and embrace peace provided they are guaranteed they would not be prosecuted after making such move. He also revealed that the bandits themselves have been victims, saying they have been profiled wrongly for looking like herdsmen.
“You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.
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“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.
“These people in the bush, who have taken arms; they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we cannot accept their repentance.” he said.
“Since that is the bottleneck and it is only the Federal Government that can give them that leverage. Strangely, we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.”