Gumi Resumes Dialogue Appeal for Terrorists

After a long-time silence about his appeal for bandits, Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to consider a truce with the terrorists.

In an interview with Trust TV, Gumi said he is willing to join the truce team if the president requests him to do so.

“I don’t have to lead it, but I would volunteer myself to be part of it. It’s not about leadership; it’s about a holistic package that addresses the issue.

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“We need the involvement of emirs, scholars, and university professors who have conducted extensive research on these matters. Let’s all sit down together so that we can achieve peace and enable people to return to their farms,” Gumi had said.

The Islamic scholar said this after former governor of banditry-ravaged Zamfara State urged Tinubu’s government to dialogue with the terrorists.

“I’m advising the government to, first of all, find time to sit with these bandits, just like they sat with Niger Delta militants in the past because the majority of them are Nigerians, even though there are some foreigners among them.

“But Nigerians among them can be convinced, as the Niger Delta militants were convinced and empowered to stop. If that fails, the government can use force on them wherever they are,” Yerima said in an interview with BBC Hausa.

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GUMI’S SYMPATHY FOR BANDITS

On several occasions, the Islamic scholar who was an army captain, had dialogued with terrorists while serving as a middleman between them and the family of those who were in captivity.

According to BCC, Gumi first emerged on the scene in February 2021 after he went on a so-called peace mission to a group of bandits in their forest hideout in Zamfara State.

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Subsequently, he led the same mission to Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states, urging bandits to stop carrying out attacks.

During some of the visits, Gumi distributed Islamic books to the terrorists, persuading them to lay off their weapons.

“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule,” he had said.

On another occasion, he said: “Kidnapping children from school is a lesser evil because in the end, you can negotiate and now bandits are very careful about human lives. Before, the mission of bandits was to go into a town, ransack it and kill people.”

Despite his dialogue with the terrorists, they keep attacking and killing locals in Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara and Katsina states.

Tukur Mamu, Gumi’s spokesman who publishes Desert Herald was some months ago arrested by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Services (SSS) for alleged terrorism.

Mamu was arrested based on his suspicious relationship with the terrorists involved in the March 2022 train attack along the Abuja-Kaduna railway.

At least eight people died in the attack while 168 people were declared missing, most of whom were believed to have been kidnapped.

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The remaining 23 kidnapped victims regained their freedom on October 5, 2022, after six months in captivity.

Mamu allegedly received ransom from families of the victims of the train attack on behalf of the terrorists. He was arrested by Interpol in Cairo, Egypt, on behalf of the Nigerian government on 6 September 2022.

While he was being held in Cairo, the State Security Service (SSS) raided his Kaduna residence and office. The SSS claimed that it recovered military uniforms and an amount of money during the raid.

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