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Gumi spells end of Nigeria if Buhari declares bandits as terrorists

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A retired army military officer and Islamic Cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has warned that declaring bandits as terrorists will mark the end of Nigeria as a sovereign and united entity.

Mr Gumi, mufti, admitted that the devastation inflicted by rampaging bandits in Nigeria’s northwest amounts to terrorism, but President Muhammadu Buhari’s labelling them as such will invite additional consequences that will consume the entire country.

“The acts the bandits are committing now in NW have gradually over time become tantamount to terrorism because wherever innocent people are fatal victims it’s pure terrorism,” Mr Gumi said in a Facebook post on Sunday night.

The cleric warned that the moment bandits are designated as terrorists, “Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force.”

“Many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive. Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth. Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits,” he said. “This will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim.”

Mr Gumi said, since Boko Haram has already gripped the North-East, separatist agitators in the South-East and South-West will easily seize on the lawlessness sweeping the northern regions.

“NE is already and is still devastated by this madness for over 12 years. If we allow, terror, to set in into these raw naïve unexposed bandits, North-West will be in ruins sooner than later.

“Already IPOB are destroying South-East, and Igboho has set the ball of confusion rolling in South-West. For those who want to destroy the North-West, it’s a good recipe.

“Turn bandits into religious zealots. Tell me, what then remains of Nigeria?” Mr Gumi said.

The mufti also dismissed his critics as “illiterates” for their failure to see his position since he started holding talks with bandits in their hideouts and publicly advocating for a civil resolution to their deadly exploits.

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina recently called Mr Gumi as a “terrorist lover” for his open association with bandits killing and abducting civilians across the North-West.

The bandits carried out abductions of schoolchildren that forced school closures in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara. The Nigerian National Assembly also urged Mr Buhari to declare them terrorists.

In July, the bandits shut down a Nigerian Air Force jet in Zamfara and also raided Nigerians Defence Academy Kaduna the following month.

Although Mr Buhari acknowledged bandits have been terrorising the country, his administration has been reluctant to declare bandits as terrorists because they have yet to declare a political or religious goal, a key requisite in designating a movement as terrorists under international regulations.

 

SEE MR GUMI’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

Nobody doubts that sentimentalism today overrides sensibility in our polity. For the sake of posterity, some people will have to speak out. The acts the Bandits are committing now in NW have gradually over time become tantamount to terrorism because wherever innocent people are fatal victims it’s pure terrorism.

Yet, innocence these days is relative. We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. It’s right for vigilantes to lynch Fulanis herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds.

Yet again, the only helpful part that is against Bandits is that no other than them are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and coloration. However, the moment they are termed Terrorist – Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force. And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive.

Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth. Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits. This will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim. In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is- has the moral high ground to fight back? This is the most probable consequence, the price of which is not worth it. Nothing stops the kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics.

NE is already and is still devastated by this madness for over 12 years. If we allow, terror, to set in into these raw naïve unexposed bandits, NW will be in ruins sooner than later. Already IPOB is destroying SE, and Igboho has set the ball of confusion rolling in SW. For those who want to destroy the NW, it’s a good recipe. Turn bandits into religious zealots. Tell me, what then remains of Nigeria?

I have started to get these raw bandits out of their misadventure but unfortunately, I have few helpers and a mountain of antagonists. The psychology in fighting natives is to induce a motive for their struggle if they don’t have one already, a motive that is manageable, and it is so managed. Unfortunately, reactions to threats in our nation are always slow and incoherent.

I hope another Igbo clergy goes into the IPOB militants likewise and talk sense into them, and another Pastor of Oduduwa land talks against the Igboho secessionist tribal movement by way of sensitizing people to the values of a cohesive nationalism that will guaranty freedom, equality, and justice for all. Religious forces can permeate hardened hearts where secular forces cannot.

Regrettably, people just sit down in the comfort of their rooms or parlors and make useless passing comments that only add fuel to the inferno of ethnic jingoism and bigotry. In the 21st century, Nigeria is hijacked by semi-illiterates and half-baked tribal heroes that have nothing to offer besides promoting tribal xenophobia.

Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groupings, it’s not possible to divide such a nation into tribal enclaves. Nigeria is multi-religious, even with one same religion or sect there is no harmony and understanding that can build a prosperous unified nation where tranquillity and development will flourish. We are tired of these bogus destructive fruitless slogans!

Nigerians are in a daydream so long they act by Nerval impulses not by the dictates of their cerebral cortex.

May Allah protect us all. Amin

Ahmed Oluwasanjo

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.The Verge Communications (NEWSVERGE) is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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