Gumi: Bandits commit terrorism, but they’re not terrorists

Gumi identified "extra judicial killings of Fulani" as the main factor fueling banditry in Nigeria.

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi is an influential cleric in Kaduna State. (Punch)

Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi says bandits are committing terrorism but they are not terrorists.

The cleric said this in an interview he granted Daily Trust before a Federal High Court in Abuja declared bandits as terrorists on Friday, November 26, 2021.

Gumi believes the call to declare bandits as terrorists was driven by prejudice and bigotry.

He said, “That is unfortunately driven by prejudice and bigotry. IPOB is an organization, it does not mean Igbo. Boko Haram is an organization and it does not mean Kanuri.

“So you can declare Boko Haram terrorists, you can declare IPOB terrorists. In this case what are you going to declare terrorists?

“Bandit is a vague description. What are you declaring? You want to say herdsmen are terrorists? That is one. Secondly, IPOB now is declared a terrorist, how has it changed? America, European Union, everywhere did not recognized that declaration.

“They have not sanctioned them, stopped them from travelling, contributing money, probably because they are not us, they are them.

“And in this case, if you say Fulani herdsmen are terrorist because that is the only words you say, you cannot say bandits are terrorists, bandits commit terrorism but they are not terrorists.”

The cleric also identified "extra judicial killings of Fulani" as the main factor fueling banditry in Nigeria.

He said, “An innocent Fulani man can be apprehended on suspicion and he will lose his cattle, the same way an innocent man will be kidnapped by bandits and he will lose his possession.

“So all the people holding guns are now liable to exploit and extort people, either on the government side or the…”

“In fact they are justifying what they are doing from the experience of their own people at the hands of the rogue security agents.

“I don’t say all the security are like that but from the rogue ones we have and with that experience they said ‘okay we are revenging’ and that is why they don’t have any remorse for committing any of these crimes”.

He added that security agents had at some point committed genocide against Fulani’s herdsmen.

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