• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Niger-Delta militants aren’t kidnapping their families like bandits because they are all armed in the creeks – Gumi 


Ahmad Gumi, Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, said militants in the Niger-Delta region aren’t kidnapping their families and members of their communities like bandits in the north because they are all armed in the creeks.

Gumi said this during an interview on Nigeria Info FM on Monday evening, renewing his call for amnesty for the bandits terrorising the northern part of the country.

The controversial cleric said the federal government must grant bandits amnesty just like the Yar’Adua administration did for the militants in the Niger Delta region for peace to return to the north.

Countered with the argument that bandits aren’t fighting for a cause, unlike militants who were angry because the government neglected their oil-rich region, where the country generates the bulk of its revenue, Gumi said bandits are also marginalised Nigerians, who have no access to education, health, good water, or other social amenities.

When asked the reason why bandits are kidnapping their families and members of their communities, unlike militants who targeted mostly expatriates working for oil companies and government officials, the cleric said it is because everyone in the creeks is armed.

“The reason is because they are all armed; they are all armed in the creeks,” he said.

He added that bandits, who are most herdsmen, according to him, are terrorising other northerners because they believe that they are conniving with security agents to fight them.


Gumi said the federal government should negotiate with the kidnappers who abducted about 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State because it is the only reasonable way to ensure the safe return of the pupils.

He argued that negotiation does not necessarily mean money will be paid to the kidnappers; it might be releasing prisoners for captives.


When asked about why it was easy for him to locate and meet with the bandits while security agents struggle with their location, Gumi said the security agents are not being truthful because they always follow him to negotiate with the kidnappers.

“I don’t think they (security agents) are truthful with you. When I go, I go with them; I don’t go alone,” he said.

Speaking on the identities of the bandits, Gumi said they are mainly herdsmen, who are largely Nigerians with few foreigners.