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Gumi, Akeredolu differ on tagging bandits as terrorists

By Adamu Abuh, Ernest Nzor (Abuja), Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure), Saxone Akhaine and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
26 October 2021   |   3:34 am
Popular Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned that the declaration of bandits as terrorists would come with a prize.

Sheikh Ahmed Gumi

HURIWA accuses cleric of working for terrorists, govt

Popular Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned that the declaration of bandits as terrorists would come with a prize.

But Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), disagrees, arguing that bandits deserve to be placed on the same pedestal as the Boko Haram terrorist group.

In a statement he released on his Facebook page yesterday, Gumi noted that, already, the foreign Jihadist groups were seeking to win the hearts of the bandits, adding that the moment they were tagged as terrorists, the movements would set in force and complicate issues.

The cleric said his journey to the bandits would have yielded positive results, but for antagonists, who thwarted his initiative.
According to him, the plan to lump bandits and terrorists together will only give criminality undue spiritual cover.

AKEREDOLU, speaking during the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja themed ‘Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now’, frowned on the idea of treating bandits with kid gloves.

The governor insisted that kidnapping, bombing and assault on the people, which were being referred to as banditry, must be appropriately tagged as terrorism.

At the event graced by his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir el-Rufai, and other panelists, Akeredolu contended that a nation with failed security and justice systems was set to fail.

In the same vein, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused Gumi of supporting terrorists and Fulani bandits.
HURIWA asked the Federal Government to order the immediate arrest of the cleric and charge him to court of competent jurisdiction for allegedly supporting terrorists and Fulani bandits by reportedly threatening the end of Nigeria should President Muhammadu Buhari classify Fulani militia as terrorists.

In a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said if the Federal Government failed again to arrest Gumi, then Nigerians should know that he was actually the official mouthpiece of key officials in government, including heads of military institutions and the National Security Adviser who praised his role recently.

The human rights group noted that Gumi, a retired army military officer, admitted that the devastation inflicted by the bandits amounted to terrorism, but that labelling them as such would invite additional consequences that would consume the country.