Kaduna based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has lamented that innocent Fulani herdsmen were lured by arms and drug dealers into banditry terrorising the Northwest states.
Sheikh Gumi however said kidnappings and killings by bandits can only be stopped by hijacking them back from the evil arms and drug dealers and not by the kill-them-all approach currently adopted by the government.
The Islamic Scholar who had repeatedly advocated amnesty for bandits, spoke while addressing a peace conference organised by Center For the Advancement of Human Dignity and Value in Kaduna on Thursday.
The ex-military offices noted that lack of religion, ignorance and poor enlightenment on the part of the Fulani herdsmen are the causes of insecurity in the region and enlightenment is the cure.
“I realised one thing, lack of religion, lack of knowledge, ignorance is the cause of insecurity, enlightenment is the cure, when you enlighten them you can cure them, when you want to cure the problem the way it was created, you go into bloodshed and this is exactly what we are witnessing now. We have left a big section of Nigerians with nothing; we left them with animals, we don’t do anything for them, nothing is taken seriously in Nigeria. “The nomadic education was left to no funding. How do you cure it? Some are suggesting kill them all, because they are killing. For three years the government has spent $1 billion and now you need another $1billion, but I said one third of that $1billion will enlighten them and stop the killing. Have you tried it? Nobody tried it. They (bandits) have empathy like we have, they have families, children..
“When I visited the bandits in the forest, the first step was to use psychology on them, they aired their grievances and they were ready to change. So, what were their conditions? They were all constitutional rights. When a herdsman comes before the court of law, he is finished because he is ignorant, they complained and nobody gave them justice. What do they have? When we have education ministers, not one kobo goes to their children. .”They are hijacked by evil people, drug addicts, gunrunners, let us hijack them back to the society this is what we need to do. They have dignity too, they should be respected and given all the human right everybody has. i came out of the forest to address the authority, to sit down and explain to them the way out, but I found out that going on that difficult journey to the forest of Niger state is easier than getting the attention of somebody in Aso Rock. “We are ignorant because we don’t understand the dignity of human lives. We don’t value human lives. These criminals can turn into saints one day. So, there is a way we can solve our problem. We should respect human dignity. Every human by our constitution is guaranteed equity and justice, everybody is free to choose his or her religion nobody should impose on anybody to think otherwise,” he said. ..
President CAHDV, Engr. Joseph John Ameh in his address called on Nigerians to live together harmoniously and stop killings and kidnappings. “We are created by one God, let us value human lives and embrace unity,” he said…
The Director Arewa House Kaduna, Dr. Shuibu Shehu Aliyu, said selfish political elites are using religious leaders to cause insecurity in the society..The religious leaders who spoke at the event on human dignity, Prof. Ahmad Dogarawa from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Rev. Yahaya Simon, General Overseer, Mission Church Kaduna, laid emphasis on religious perspectives to the sacredness of human life.