Over the years, the elements of banditry in the North-West of NigerIa have disturbed the peace of the people of the region. And they did not start operating at the high level that they are now. They became more dangerous with the passage of time.
However, a retired officer of the NigerIan Army who is now a renowned islamic preacher, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, is a man who has over time been taking it upon himself to always advocate for the criminal elements. And in his endlessly acting as their mouthpiece, he is of the standpoint that they are not whom the public sees them to be.
For example, he neither sees them as criminals, nor like the idea of anyone calling them so. This is because he believes and sees them as victims of cirumstances who were led into banditry as a result of the fact that they had also previously been victimised by other bandits and cattle robbers.Therefore, he is always of the position that the government should grant them amnesty.
In addition, they should be empowered. Likewise, he wants the government to build schools for them. This is because he believes that illiteracy is one of their problems and setbacks; hence, with education, the issue of their becoming bandits would be over. But unfortunately the same unlawful elements had been given amnesty by some state governments, but they later returned to the life of banditry. This was despite the benefits that accrued to them as a result of the state pardon which the Sheikh himself pertook in brokering..
And now that the national Joint Task Forces (JTF) have been dealing with them mostly on Zamfara State which is their hub, he (Gumi) had chided the government that they have fled elsewhere. But on the contrary, the same criminals have committed more atrocities since he made that statement. Even, two of their female suppliers of fuel, cigarettes and some other banned goods have been arrested.
Rashida Hussaini: Suspected of supplying fuel to bandits in Katsina State
Rekiya Ibrahim: suspected of supplying bandits with cigarettes and some other goods
Although, he had said that they would not go anywhere despite JTF's onslaughts on them, only time will tell if they can continue to withstand the Military forces or not. But in the meantime, a fundamental fact that is worth saying is that despite his defence of them, they always prove him wrong. And this shows that they are beasts who can also devour him if they have the access to do so.
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