Ahmed Gumi, popular Islamic cleric, has bemoaned lack of cooperation from the Federal Government to negotiate with armed bandits terrorising the country.
Gumi was reacting to the killing of three students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State by bandits, who abducted them from their school this week.
The PUNCH reports that Gumi said the development underscores his position that the Federal Government should consider amnesty for bandits.
He noted that bandits are now at war with the country.
The Islamic scholar, who was involved in the process that led to the release of students abducted by bandits in Katsina and Niger States, said he was helpless in the case of Kaduna, because the state government has failed to cooperate with him to negotiate with the criminals.
“The situation is becoming dire and I need the government’s support before I can do anything, and I think there is a great misunderstanding and poor reading of the situation on the ground. So, I’m really helpless; I don’t know what actually I can do as of now”, he said.
On the students’ killing, he stated:
“Honestly speaking, it is very unfortunate. There is an ethnic war going on, and I have been saying it. It is a war but if we don’t want to accept that it is a war, we will continue to suffer.
“You cannot predict the behaviour of people who are like that; this is the unfortunate thing and it is the common man that suffers. The way forward is for the government to listen to us, because those people (bandits) are ready to listen to us. If the government will cooperate and listen to us, I think there will be peace but we are finding it difficult to get the government’s attention”.
He likened the situation to the Iran-Iraq war, stressing that it is now a war situation.
“We are in a war situation. As we are talking now, they (military) are dropping bombs on them (bandits). You cannot protect your children and you are dropping bombs on the enemies!
“You remember the Iran-Iraq war when they were bombing Baghdad and Tehran and they didn’t care about the civilians. When young girls (and boys) are killed like that, you should know that it is not just criminality, it is beyond criminality, it is a war.”
“There is a lot we can offer but we need the government to cooperate,” Gumi added.