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[OPINION] N100m Ransom for Greenfield Students: Gumi Is the Official Spokesman for Armed Bandits

Renowned Kaduna-based controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has been in the news in recent times for his ‘mediating’ efforts between armed Fulani bandits and the federal government of Nigeria. He began his peace and reconciliation moves a few months back with visits to the bandits’ hideouts in forests across northwest Nigeria.

After a few of such visits, he launched a passionate campaign and advocacy for the bandits. The main thrust of his campaign is that the federal government should grant ‘blanket’ amnesty to the killer bandits much the same way as it did for the Niger Delta militants. In advocating for the bandits, Gumi has adopted the twin approaches of subtle blackmail or threats and persuasion to achieve his purpose. He has also made several deft attempts to decriminalize the bandits. At some points, he blatantly accused the media of fuelling banditry by referring to the bandits as criminals. He then urged the press to use ‘nice words’ to describe the bandits in order not to infuriate them if it even wanted the security crisis caused by the bandits to end.

He has made several spirited attempts to project the Fulani bandits as the victims of the crisis and everyone else as the aggressor despite evidence to the contrary.

He said at various points that: the bandits are fighting a legitimate cause and therefore are not worse than the Niger Delta militants to whom the federal government granted amnesty; that non-Muslim soldiers were the ones killing the Muslim bandits and destroying their property; that the bandits have only killed a few people and even that accidentally.

The cleric has even adopted scare tactics in propagating his sinister campaign for the bandits. He once warned that the terrorists were on the verge of acquiring anti-air missiles with which to combat the armed forces in a bid to arm-twist the government into negotiating with the bandits. And one point, he said the bandits will not stop their bloody campaigns against Nigerians until they are granted amnesty. 

In his latest attempt at subtle blackmail, the cleric told the federal government not to take the bandit’s threat to kill the abducted students of Greenfield University with levity. He, therefore, called on the government to quickly pay the N100m naira ransom to the bandits as they demanded to free the students from their captivity before it is too late. 

For those still in doubt about whose interest Gumi is representing in this matter, I hope this latest development clears their doubts. The man has unequivocally shown by his actions and utterances that he speaks for the bandits against the interest of the nation. He is the de facto official spokesperson of the bandits.

What right-thinking patriots cannot fathom, however, is why a man, who has openly identified with enemies of the Nigerian state, still walks about freely in a supposedly democratic nation. Perhaps his status has placed him above the law of the land. 

Content created and supplied by: Ifyafrica (via Opera News )

Greenfield Gumi Islamic Kaduna-based Sheik Ahmad Gumi

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