Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, a renowned Islamic cleric, has urged the Federal Government to sponsor factional bandits to fight the “ugly ones” as part of efforts to end kidnapping and banditry across the country.
Gumi offered the advice in an interview on Wednesday.
Nigeria has been beset with the problem of kidnapping and banditry in the last one year, with the spate of criminal activities increasing in the last few months.
Speaking on the abduction of 200 Islamiyya schoolchildren in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, Gumi explained that many bandits were ready for dialogue but lamented that progress is being stalled by the unrepentant ones.
According to him, the Federal Government can dialogue with the “good” bandits and use them to stage attacks against the “ugly ones” to halt the mass abduction spree, especially in northern Nigeria.
“We are always trying to do our best, but you see, you need two hands to shake. You know these people (bandits) need engagements from the government itself. If you dialogue with them without the involvement of the government, it is a problem,” Gumi told the Punch.
“Government needs to be proactive with them. We have a lot of them that are ready to fight the bad ones. Use the bad to fight the ugly, and use the good to fight the bad ones when you’re done with the ugly. Look at Boko Haram, who finished Shekau? Was it not the splinter group? So, it is easy.
“All these agitations you see, if the government can do a splinter group and the splinter group is empowered, every man wants power and money, they will do your job. There are many ready to submit themselves. All the ones you see me meeting in the bush, they are all telling us, ‘we are ready.’”