The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has warned popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, to stop defending bandits terrorising parts of the country.
Quoting the Qur’an, MURIC’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, listed the punishments for bandits to include execution or crucification, cutting off their hands and legs from opposite sides or sending them into exile.
Gumi, who is known to have access to bandits, has continued to defend their course, despite perpetrating killings and kidnappings in the North-west region of the country.
The Islamic scholar, during an interview on Arise Television earlier this week, reiterated his former position that the Federal Government must dialogue with bandits for peace to reign in the Nigeria.
But in a statement signed by him, Akintola, warned against trivialising crimes committed by bandits.
The group warned against making excuses for the crimes committed by bandits, and called on Gumi to rather educate the public on the position of the Shariah regarding banditry.
“We should also let the bandits know the gravity of their crimes and the ‘kabiirah’ status of their sins”, Akintola said.
MURIC noted that banditry is categorised in Islam as waging unprovoked war against the people, Allah and the great Prophet Muhammad.
“It says, ‘The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger by spreading evil and committing atrocities in the land is either execution, or crucifiction or cutting off their hands and legs from opposite sides or sending them into exile. That is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment awaits them in the Hereafter’ (Qur’an 5:33).
“Note should be taken of the promise of ‘heavy punishment’ for bandits even after death. It is for this reason that we are calling on all Islamic scholars in the country to boldly rise to the task and interprete the Shariah in a befitting manner”, he also stated.
Akintola called on all bandits to surrender.
“We therefore reiterate our call on all bandits and herdsmen who are traumatising Nigerians in Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Enugu, Yobe, etc, to surrender without delay,” MURIC added.
“The atrocities committed by bandits and criminal herdsmen in all parts of the country should be fiercely confronted by state governments.
“Nigeria today is being slowly strangulated by two extremists, namely, those who idolise bandits and those who demonise ethnicities. Both groups are two extremes that must be deradicalised as quickly as possible.”