Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, has asked the federal government to deploy security budget in addressing demands of bandits instead of waging war against them.
According to PUNCH, the cleric spoke in continuation of his five-day visit to bandits’ and Fulani settlements in Zamfara State.
Gumi had earlier visited bandits at the Tubali and Makkai forests in Shinkafi local government area of the state.
He said most of the bandits had lost all their possessions to cattle rustling and extortion by some corrupt security agents.
The cleric said the funds deployed in fighting insecurity in the region could have been used to address the needs of armed Fulani, including provision of basic amenities and training.
“Such billions would be more than enough if judiciously used to address all the demands of the armed Fulani, including providing them with basic amenities, training them and providing them with the needed capital,” he said.
Gumi urged the bandits to adopt peace by dropping their weapons. He assured them that Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, is willing to address their grievances.
During his meeting with Matawalle, the cleric had said the security crisis in Zamfara is not banditry but insurgency.
According to him, the bandits are willing to drop their arms if the vigilante group stops attacking and killing them.
“In most of the bandits and Fulani camps we have visited in Zamfara, I come to understand that what is happening in the state is nothing but an insurgency,” Gumi said.
The cleric said dialogue is the best option to end the menace in Zamfara and the rest of the country.
About three weeks ago, over 500 bandits reportedly agreed to lay down their weapons in Kaduna after he struck a peace deal with them.