- Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has revealed that Boko Haram may have infiltrated bandits across the country.
Gumi made this assertion while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Monday, February 22.
“I can say categorically that they (bandits) are not Boko Haram but we have to be very careful; because if the pressure is too much, Boko Haram being more international, more connected; may be richer, I am afraid they (bandits) can be influenced by Boko Haram. And we have seen the signs that Boko Haram wants to infiltrate them; but so far, they are not Boko Haram, they are ready to lay down their arms.
“There was an incident that happened in Zamfara during the former regime. The Fulani themselves caught some elements of Boko Haram and presented them to the government. So, they are not Boko Haram, they are citizens, they recognise authority; and they are ready to lay down their arms and that is why we have to act fast,” Sheikh Gumi.
The cleric also said the Nigerian military forces were aware of the whereabouts of bandits who have been involved in high-scale kidnappings in Kankara and Kagara as well as serial killings in different parts of the country.
He, however, said the military forces were re-evaluating their strategies having realised that neutralising the bandits through superior firepower had created more monsters.
In response to knowledge about the location of the terrorists, Sheikh Gumi said, “They (military forces) know, they see them by aerial view, they have intelligence among them. I’ve met a herdsman who is part of the internal security.
“They all know but the problem is that the 8th military has learnt its lessons. The first approach they had when they go in and start killing, they realised it’s the wrong way and they realised they are producing monsters. So, they are now very careful, watching and seeing how they will go about it.”
The cleric urged the military not to “just wait and watch” but to “go in and negotiate” with the bandits.