Kaduna based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned that the refusal of the Buhari government to listen to agitators in the country, will hasten the demise of the country.
Gumi who stated this on Wednesday as a guest on Arise TV‘s ‘Good Morning Show’, said when citizens begin to take up arms against their own country, it shows there’s a problem, and pretending that there are no agitations will not make them go away.
He therefore, warned that the Buhari government had better chose the easy path to peace which is to listen and address the concerns of agitators, otherwise, the one Nigeria they say is non-negotiable, with be destroyed without negotiation.
“Government doesn’t want to recognise that there are agitations. Even with the IPOB. If I were the government, I will go and sit down with them and ask what the problem is.
“Why are you carrying weapons against your own country? So is the case with the herdsmen. They are ready to negotiate,” Gumi said.
According to him, religious extremism is already seeping into the camp of bandits.
He said the Federal Government must do the needful before the situation gets out of hand.
“Now, the herdsmen are slowly becoming radicalised in a terrorist form/fashion. I mean religiously, and this is a bad omen for us.
“Because when they begin to come out reading religious texts to justify what they are doing, then, it becomes difficult to convince them to come out and negotiate. And I am saying this now, let’s go and get them before the evil forces capture them,” Gumi stated.
The cleric noted that tribal warfare being mistagged as banditry is currently going on in the nation.
He accused the government of taking sides in this war rather than being a neutral mediator.
“This is a tribal war going on and the government taking one side. What I see now is a tribal war. Fulani fighting Yoruba in the South West, Fulani fighting Igbo in the South East and Fulani fighting in other areas in the North.
“What you are calling banditry, when you cross to the other side, you discover Nigeria is fighting a tribal war and government is supposed to be the mediator. Government is supposed to be neutral; it’s not supposed to take sides.
“But the moment government takes side it becomes part of the conflict. And this is what I saw in Zamfara state, in Niger state and other states.
“When you say these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agreed, they are committing crimes – they are killing people, they are kidnapping, they are raping, they are doing all sorts of atrocities. But, have you for once gone to their sides and see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?
“So that rather than wielding the big stick and relying on military action, the Federal Government will do well in restoring normalcy by engaging the bandits in negotiation and using willing volunteers among them to win the battle.”