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I Would Only Resume Negotiation with Bandits If El-Rufai Give He’s Support — Sheik Gumi

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, the Islamic cleric and frontline mediator in the battle to end the scourge of banditry in Nigeria, has said he stopped negotiating with the bandits terrorising Kaduna because the state government was not interested in the move.

Daily Nigerian reports that Gumi’s media aide, Salisu Hassan, said the cleric halted his plans to respect the decision of the state government.

Sheik Ahmad Gumi has said that he stopped negotiation with bandits in Kaduna because Governor El-Rufai frowns at it.

Newsmen gathered that Hassan said the Kaduna state government said they are not interested in negotiations.

He said:

“No, it is not that Sheikh is busy. The problem is that since the government is not interested in reconciling with those people. So, Sheikh just tried to have some other way so that he can achieve his goals. The Kaduna State government said they are not interested in negotiations.”
Sahara Reporters also reports that Gumi had crisscrossed many forests in the northwest to meet bandit groups to preach for them but Governor Nasir El-Rufai frowned at the move.

The governor had also declared that the state government would not engage the criminals in any form of negotiations, insisting that these bandits deserve to be killed, not offered an olive branch.

Speaking during the presentation of the state’s 2020 Annual Security Report in Kaduna, El-Rufai said not only negotiation, the state government would also not grant any amnesty to the criminals terrorising his state.

El-Rufai stressed that bandits, cattle rustlers and armed militias must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.

He said:

“Our position in Kaduna state has been clear, unequivocal and consistent. Bandits, cattle rustlers and armed militias must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.
“We will neither negotiate with criminals of any description nor support any grant of amnesty. Criminal gangs, bandits, insurgents and ethno-religious militias made a conscious choice to challenge Nigeria’s sovereignty and menace our citizens. These criminals must be wiped out immediately and without hesitation.”
The governor also lauded the recent directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the federal security agencies to wipe out gun-wielding criminals.

He, therefore, stressed the need to further empower the security sector to defeat the criminals, including providing the additional funds, the armament technology and the required personnel.

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