Sheikh Gumi is widely known as the Islamic cleric that mediates between the Nigerian government and the bandits. His opinion on handling these bandits has often left a sour taste on the mouths of many Nigerians, who feel he is being sympathetic to killers.
At some point, Nigerians on various media platforms called for investigations into him, but the Nigerian army came out to give him credit. They said he has helped tremendously in their dealings with the bandits.
So, with pressure piling on the presidency to declare bandits as "terrorists", Gumi has now come out to advise against it.
Map of Nigeria showing all the regions (wikipedia.org)
While it is important to note that even the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-rufai, has also made the call, Gumi feels it will radicalize the bandits. El-rufai was of the opinion that tagging them terrorists gives the army the clearance to kill the bandits, without violating international laws.
El-rufai's position pleased so many, and for a governor whose state has suffered heavily under these bandits, one can only imagine how he must be feeling. They are making his state unlivable.
So, for Gumi to advise against this, it may sound unfair to the victims of these bandits, but perhaps, Gumi is seeing the bigger picture.
His reason is that calling them terrorists or Islamic terrorists, adds the religious factor to it. This religious factor he believes, will gather more religious fanatics to their activities, making the aftermath worse. He even suggested that that tag will most likely attract international terrorists to join them.
Now, assuming this happens, then Nigeria will have helped the bandits get more members in her bid to annihilate them. Instead of tagging them terrorists and mulitiplying their effect, perhaps we should consider Gumi's advice.
He has actually been right about the bandits so far. He once said that killing them will not stop them, and like he said, they still have not stopped.
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