Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic scholar, on Monday, condemned the ongoing military onslaught against bandits in Zamfara and Kaduna States.
The federal government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had over the weekend, mandated telecommunication companies in the country to shut down services in Zamfara for two weeks, as part of strategies to help security agencies in curbing banditry ravaging the state.
The controversial cleric said the recent takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban should be enough signal to the federal government that the Nigerian military cannot win the guerilla warfare.
Gumi, in a post on Facebook titled, ‘Zamfara: The flaring crisis,’ maintained his stance that the federal government should grant amnesty to bandits the way the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua did to Niger Delta militants.
He said the military action against the criminals will not yield the desired results.
According to him, military actions in the past have worsened the situation by emboldening the bandits.
“Any more action will push them closer to religious fanaticism. It gives them protection from discrediting them as thieves and also reinforces their mobilisation of gullible young unemployed youth as we saw with Boko Haram,” he wrote.
“These measures I enumerated are cheaper, easier, and lasting than the kinetic approach which is now taking place. No military, especially of a poor economy, can win guerrilla warfare. The recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a factual warning for those that contemplate this.
“With their acquisition of weapons, they realised how easy it became to be masters of their abode; the forest, where no authority can venture into. This has emboldened them to further attack people for more ransoms to sustain their newfound reality.
“Now, with the prodding of the government to take more military actions of an already ugly situation whereby they were left to amass weapons, a huge military budget that is almost draining the economy to a standstill in the purchase of fighter aircrafts and conducting military operations in the region has become to the authorities, in their calculations, a necessity.”
“Unfortunately, this is no solution or wisdom. When you don’t have the monopoly of the instruments of violence, then dialogue has the monopoly of resolving the conflict.
“This is what the UN is all about; roundtable resolution of conflicts. What we are seeing is more than just criminals and criminality. Yes, it may have started as such but like any conflict, it is dynamic.”