Photo Credit: Daily Trust
Following intense pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed bandits as a terrorist organization, controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has warned that such action will come at a price.
He issued the warning in a Facebook report which was reported by Punch, in which he warned against labelling the bandit as terrorists.
Gumi made his remark shortly after the Speakers of the 36 State House of Assemblies in Nigeria challenged President Buhari to declare the bandits as terrorists because of their atrocities in the South East. But Gumi said that such action will not solve the problems, rather it will result in two dire consequences.
Photo Credit: Daily Trust
This article will analyse two things Gumi said will happen if the bandits are categorized as terrorists.
The direct foreign jihad movement will set in
Gumi warned that declaring the bandits as terrorists will push them to the limit of the struggle and give a religious colouration to their activities.
In essence, they may begin to align with foreign jihad elements from North Africa and other Arab nations, and this is likely to reinforce the group in terms of arms and ammunition and necessary guerilla warfare training. The implication of this is that the battle becomes more complicated to win and it could drag on for many years.
Photo Credit: The cable
This could be the reason why President Buhari has so far resisted the pressure to declare the bandits as terrorists. Perhaps he can see that this war cannot be won by brute force, rather he is trying to encourage the military to devise other ways to weaken the bandits and make them ineffective.
It will make them more attractive to teaming unemployed Northern youths
Gumi also said as soon as the bandits embrace Jihadist ideologies as a result of the terrorist label, the group will become more attractive to the teaming unemployed Northern youth, because they will see bandits as a force that is fighting for God’s agenda. Also aligning with foreign Jihadist forces could mean more money for the bandits which they may use to lure unemployed youths to join them.
Photo Credit: The Conversation
Indeed, this is something that the government need to be careful and think deeply about. Even though Gumi might be a controversial and sometimes divisive figure, the government could use some of his advice.
Photo Credit: Today
His comments could provide needed insights and intelligence reports that could help the military destroy the bandits from within, without any collateral damage to innocent citizens.
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