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Gumi calls Buhari's aide 'bootlicker' for calling him 'bandit lover'

Gumi says he wants a peaceful resolution that does not turn the north into a theatre of war.

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi (second from right) has been meeting with bandits terrorising the northern region to negotiate peace, and has received little public backing amid a wave of violence and bloodshed by the armed groups [HumAngle]

Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, has fired back at President Muhammadu Buhari's media aide, Femi Adesina, for calling him a 'bandit lover'.

The cleric has been courting controversy since he started campaigning months ago for the Federal Government to grant amnesty to bandits terrorising much of the northern region.

While appraising the military's recent offensive against the numerous armed groups in an article published on Facebook on Thursday, September 9, 2021, Adesina criticised Gumi's stance on how to resolve the prolonged menace of the bandits.

Even though he didn't mention the cleric by name, he directly addressed his recent comment that the military offensive would not work.

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Gumi then fired back in his own Facebook post on Friday, September 10, arguing that he's more interested in a solution that does not turn the region into a theatre of war.

"You bootlicker that called me a bandit-lover! I am not one, but my country-lover, my region-lover, my state-lover, and my people-lover, and humanity-lover," he wrote.

The cleric noted that bandits have already devised means to escape military bombardments, and that their women and children are the ones most affected by the ongoing offensive in Zamfara State.

He said the crisis can only be solved through proficient policing, honest judiciary, and engagement of the local herdsmen in policing, rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation of all victims of banditry.

"Money and time well spent on these will surely kill the disease and heal the nation of this delinquency, crimes, and bad governance," he added.

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Gumi said reconciliation negotiation with the bandits is not working only because the government is not committed to a peaceful resolution.

Bandits have left a trail of blood in the northern region over the past year, killing hundreds and abducting many more in exchange for ransom.

The Federal Government has been struggling to contain the wave of violence, and the ethno-religious crisis it has spawned.

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