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  • Updated: February 06, 2021

Is Sheikh Gumi's Talk With Bandits A Step In The Right Direction?

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Bolanle Akinlade
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

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Insecurity in Nigeria is a subject of daily debate and an issue of  great concern for every Nigerian, home and abroad. The Northern part of the country in particular, experiences a daily battle with the menace of Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen crisis, banditry and series of kidnappings.

Bandits

There is no gainsaying that these worrisome issues have been ongoing for a long time now. It has further heightened under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari despite the campaign promises he made to tackle these challenges. As a direct response to the issue, the annual security budget of the country has seen a 10.2 percent increase over 2020's budget to stand at ₦1.97 trillion in 2021. 

With the yearly increase in the security budget from the inception of President Buhari’s administration till date, and with the wide spread insecurity all over the country, the 10.2% increase in the under-performing sector is getting more questionable with the allocation not accounted for results.

Although, the President reiterated his commitment to putting an end to insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country while speaking at the Juma’ah prayer held on the “Armed Forces Remembrance Day, 2021” at the National Mosque, Abuja, it is hoped that the President’s words would be backed up with strategic actions.

The meeting of Sheikh Ahmad Mahmud Gumi, a Kaduna based Islamic Scholar with some over 500 notorious bandits in attendance was met with mixed reaction from Nigerians. At the meeting, the scholar sought to understand and unveil the grievances behind the lingering crisis in the North-western part of the country particularly in Zamfara State where a lot of banditry related issues have been recorded. 

Bandity

READ ALSO Sheik Gumi Meets Bandits In Zamfara Forest, Sues For Peace

The Islamic scholar had appealed to these men to put an end to their criminal activities.

According to Sahara Reporters, the responses of the top commanders of these banditry groups bothered on unemployment and absence of youth empowerment in their part of the country. They explained that these factors had driven them into the world of crime; they also accused the government of insincerity in its effort to put an end to the issue of insecurity.

The Sheikh can only mediate. It is left to be seen what the authorities will do with the knowledge or intelligence gathared from Gumi's mediation.

 Meanwhile, Nigerians hold varied perspectives on Gunmi's move. Here are some of their opinions:

The Sheiks gesture is clear to understand and bring possible solutions to this lingering crisis is important. Calling him names for a problem he is trying to unearth is wrong. The military will not solve every Nigeria's problem....’’  Yusuf Anka

"This is where Nigeria is. “Bandits” have become the most powerful, most influential authority in the country. We and our security forces have to negotiate, pay them, work with them or beg them." Elnathan John

“The role of religious leaders in the society is facilitating peace, so far the facilitation in itself doesn’t bred more unrest. It is long known in history to negotiate with warring parties and must be done in line with their religious scripture.” Dr. Hanafi Habeeb

"Having to dialogue with miscreants in the name of intervention? Smaller bandits group after seeing this are going to team up and cause more havoc on masses ,That’s crazyyyy, Somalia war started this way." Big Daddy Dèmòlàá (a twitter user)

The Gummi affair I think, is a welcome development in as much as it is going to give desired results. I am of the opinion that the same methodology should have been used to tackle the Boko Haram menace in 2009 when they started getting violent after the death of their leader, Yusuf Muhammad.” Barr. Olatunde Mustapha.

What are your thoughts on Gumi's intervention? Kindly share in the comment section below.

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Bolanle Akinlade
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

More From this Author

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