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Back good bandits to stop bad ones, Gumi tells FG

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An Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has advised the Federal Government to support splinter groups among bandits as a way to end mass abductions of school pupils.

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Gumi, who spoke to The PUNCH on the telephone on Wednesday on the abduction of 200 Islamiyya schoolchildren in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, said many bandits were ready for a dialogue, adding that government could use them to fight the “ugly ones.”

“We are always trying to do our best, but you see, you need two hands to shake. You know these people (bandits) need engagements from the government itself. If you dialogue with them without the involvement of the government, it is a problem,” Gumi said.

“Government needs to be proactive with them. We have a lot of them that are ready to fight the bad ones.

“Use the bad to fight the ugly, and use the good to fight the bad ones when you’re done with the ugly. Look at Boko Haram, who finished Shekau? Was it not the splinter group? So, it is easy.”

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President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration will use all available resources and manpower in dealing with bandits to ensure access to farms and food production in the coming growing season.

Despite recurring kidnapping for ransom, Buhari assured Nigerians that bandits and kidnappers will be addressed to ensure that the nation’s food security is not threatened.

The president, who hoped for a good rainy season this year, said “the law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against bandits, so that we can go back to the land.

“This is very important. This is what the agencies are busy doing right now. We want people to go back to the land so that we can get enough food for the country and even export.”


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