Islamic Cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has hinted that some of the bandits he dialogued with in the past have repented and stopped kidnapping.
Gumi has been reported severally over his visits to bandits in the forests across some states in the North in an attempt to negotiate a peace deal with them.
The cleric has also been an advocate of dialogue and amnesty for the criminals, stating the reason bandits took to arms was because there was no one to listen to and entertain their grievances.
In recent interview with Roots TV monitored by The Nation, the cleric reiterated his call for amnesty.
“All those we met, all of them have stopped being involved in this kidnapping. The ones doing it now are rogue ones who we did not sit down with,” Gumi claimed.
He further decried the refusal of the “authorities” to support his mission.
According to him, the process of “sitting down with” other bandits was stalled by “authorities” who do not want it.
“Our processes were arrested and stopped by the authorities, which is not interested in it,” he said.
Gumi also stated that he is a victim of banditry.
“My very close relative…One of the life time driver of my father. His son — a soldier – eleven of them were ambushed and killed,” he added.
“So, I am a victim of banditry. Then, should I seek revenge and more and more soldiers will die or do I forgive so that most souls will be saved?”
“So, I think it is logical… It is better to stop the more killings and have peace.”