Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has faulted the recent declaration of bandits as terrorists, stating that the development will result in more havoc on Nigerian communities.
“I hope this declaration will not give the license to people to be profiling herdsmen in general as terrorists and taking laws into their hands against them. It will cause more mayhem,” Mr Gumi said in a statement by media consultant, Malam Tukur Mamu in Kaduna on Friday.
The Islamic preacher’s latest disavowal come hours after the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court declared bandits terrorists. After several calls, the court also demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari regime publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.
According to the presiding judge Taiwo Taiwo, the acts of terrorism “include, but not limited to banditry, kidnappings for ransom, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children and other citizens, cattle rustling, enslavement, imprisonment, severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, other forms of sexual violence, attacks and killings in communities and commuters and wanton destruction of lives and properties in Nigeria.”
But Mr Gumi believes the declaration will not stop the mass killings and kidnappings across the country. “The declaration will not change anything, it will not change the dynamics. Already the military is engaging them. It didn’t stop them from kidnappings and killings. The declaration will not end their aggression against the society,” the cleric said.
Mr Gumi who has in the past months defended the activities of bandits and said Nigeria will end if they are declared terrorist, attributed the recent development to the Buhari regime bowing to pressure from Nigerians.
He said, “I think the federal government has succumbed to media blackmail by a section of the country. It will not have any practical value because even before the declaration they are being fought and treated as terrorists.”