Gov El-Rufai opposes Sheik Gumi on suggestion to pacify bandits
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Monday, February 8, warned that efforts by a prominent northern Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi to ensure bandits embrace peace may be futile.
According to El-Rufai, the bandits are used to getting big money and would find it difficult to repent after all.
The Governor stated this in an interview with the BBC Hausa in Kaduna on Monday.
adding, that any bandit arrested in the state would be killed.
“My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry,” he said.
According to him, Gumi is wasting his time as there won’t be any forgiveness and compensation for bandits.
“I never believed that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and is collecting millions of Naira as ransom will repent. I spoke to Dr Gumi, who is my friend; I explained that the majority of these bandits don’t believe in the religion. That is why they kill mercilessly.
”Anybody who thinks a Fulani herdsman that is used to only getting N100,000 in a year, after selling a cow, but now is getting millions through kidnapping for ransom will stop is only wasting his time,” he added.
Furthermore, El-Rufai decried the in-fighting amongst governors in the Northwest region on the process towards tackling insecurity in the North.
He maintained that while some of his colleagues preferred dialogue with bandits as a solution, he and other governors thought otherwise.
El-Rufai said, “We the governors lack unity among ourselves in this region in working as one to neutralize the bandits. We in Kaduna and Niger State are talking about how to end the problem.
“Why should they be compensated after killing people? They destroyed their houses. Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what I told him.
“I told him that the majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he is doing, that they should be forgiven and compensated. If any bandit is arrested in Kaduna State, the bandit will be killed because Kaduna is at war with bandits. They kill without mercy, they don’t believe in the religion.”
It would be recalled, that Governor el-Rufai had in 2006 said his government traced some violent, aggrieved Fulani to their countries and paid them to stop the killings of Southern Kaduna natives and the destruction of their communities.