I managed to listen clearly and keenly repeatedly to the Gumi’s interview on Channels TV. To clarify, I do not have any personal issues with the Sheikh and I want to assume he is genuinely making the effort for good purpose, though I have reservations regarding the identity crisis his action may cause the peaceful message of Islam in this ‘Islamophobic era’, but then, below is the synopsis I could sketch from his assertions.
1. He said There’s an ethnic war against the Fulanis in Nigeria. ( He said this to answer questions relating to ‘WHY’ the banditry in the North. I am guessing this was his view having interacted with the bandits himself. And he infact mentioned the recent Fulani attacks in Oyo State and across the country including attacks against Fulanis by some Fulanis too to buttress this).
2. He added that this has spurred non Nigerian Fulanis to join their kinsmen to resist the “calculated wars” against their people militarily.
So in Gumi’s wisdom. He said “let’s get them, let’s register them, and let’s do what we do to others, so that we don’t have any Nigerian that can be susceptible to be used..”.
Gumi also posited them as ascetic militants who still live in the hurts with no mansions and fleet of cars with their aggrieved members and families despite the mullions they get as ransom. Perhaps he meant the bandits are not interested in the worldly life but genuinely fighting for the liberation of their people. Really, let’s continue.
In the concluding part, he is proffering amnesty solutions to the Fulani banditry issue in the North.
I understand that negotiation with criminals sometimes is a tool to ensuring peace internationally in some certain instances. Even the US had to sit with Taliban to resolve issues. The Nigerian government has successfully used this many times recently too. The FG resolved the Niger Delta issues by negotiations and through the amnesty program. But these were militants who had identity and with crystal reasonable cause for their struggle even if one may disagree with their military option of seeking justice for themselves. What exactly is the genuine reason for the ‘Fulani banditry’? On what genuine basis is the cause?
Should criminality be justified as the only communication channel to get swift government’s attention and in seeking protection and rights?
Well I understand leadership has got to do with exuding great wisdom especially on issues like this. The part I am not impressed with is the premise of the so called banditry and its struggle.
I totally agree with Gumi that as Nigerians, we need to condemn every tribal attack, horrendous ethnic and religious cleansing and bloody prototyping in any form as these may lead to aggrieved individuals picking arms to defend themselves in the absence of government’s intervention.
I also agree with him on his call on government to be proactive in curbing extra judicial killings and ensure protection of lives and property of all Nigerians including the lives of the innocent Fulanis who go peacefully doing their businesses.
But wait, is there anyone or tribe that has not been oppressed in Nigeria directly or indirectly?
Does the fact that the government has challenges solving the security problems in the country justify the decorating ransom solutions to criminals all the time?
Would it be right to say every aggrieved Nigerian should pick up arms to seek their share of amnesty from the government on little provocation?
What is the relationship of kidnapping innocent children and requesting ransom and their advocacy for the sanctity and respect of their tribe and kinsmen across the Nation?
Would it be normal for other tribes to spring up militant groups in the name of any other thing so that another ‘peaceful negotiator’ can appear on the TV and say
“Well, these are the bad guys from our region too, let’s get them, let’s register them, and let’s do what we do to others, so that we don’t have any Nigerian that can be susceptible to be used..” So amnesty is gradually becoming a National Cake that must be shared across all regions and tribes for peace to reign?
The trend is becoming stupid that we may soon have groups of militants who are not active with their wives on the bed also picking up arms to constitute nuisances in the society and requesting for amnesty from the Federal government.
The Nigerian military is trying its best but most be encouraged to play its role professionally. The government should intensify military actions against criminality in all forms including those fueling ethnic and tribal crisis and killings across the country.
The bandits, kidnappers and fuelers of ethnic crisis across the Nation are simply criminals and they should be treated as such.
Many peaceful and law abiding Nigerians who have sacrificed everything for this country have been oppressed as citizens repeatedly. These are the people who need ‘amnesty’ out of poverty and bad governance from all levels. They deserve rewards for being good citizens with juicy governance and not the criminals who are milking the Nation dry in the name of a new ‘Yahoo Yahoo from the Forest’ otherwise called ‘amnesty, militancy and banditry business’.
I didn’t ‘CAME’ here to impress anyone but these issues must be addressed objectively without prejudice.
Yusuf Jimoh Aweda
ALEDEH News is not liable for opinions expressed in this article, they’re strictly the writer’s