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Gumi’s simplistic solution | The Nation News Nigeria

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Hardball

 

How to stop the increasing cases of mass abduction in Nigeria, particularly at educational institutions, is a tough challenge for the authorities. But Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmad Gumi doesn’t think so. As far as he is concerned, the Federal Government can easily solve the problem by adopting his recommended approach.

Known for his interactions with bandits, Gumi, a doctor and retired army captain, has been controversially involved in “peace processes” said to be aimed at reforming bandits.

His recommendation is based on his experience with bandits. He was reported to have had a phone conversation with The PUNCH reporters last week following the abduction of 200 Islamiyya schoolchildren in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

He was quoted as saying:  “We are always trying to do our best, but you see, you need two hands to shake. You know these people (bandits) need engagements from the government itself. If you dialogue with them without the involvement of the government, it is a problem.

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“Government needs to be proactive with them. We have a lot of them that are ready to fight the bad ones. Use the bad to fight the ugly, and use the good to fight the bad ones when you’re done with the ugly. Look at Boko Haram, who finished Shekau? Was it not the splinter group? So, it is easy.”

His reference to Shekau, the feared leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group said to have been killed by rivals in May, does not support his suggestion because it is unclear if the extremist is truly dead.

According to him, “All these agitations you see, if the government can do a splinter group and the splinter group is empowered, every man wants power and money, they will do your job. There are many ready to submit themselves. All the ones you see me meeting in the bush, they are all telling us, ‘we are ready.’”

Gumi’s suggested solution is simplistic.  He wants the authorities to abdicate their security responsibility and allow state-sponsored bandits to act on behalf of the government concerning security.

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He also wants the government to negotiate with bandits, which would suggest state incapacity and send a wrong message to criminals.

It is laughable that he thinks there are “good” bandits who would help the government get rid of the “bad” ones after those ones have eliminated the “ugly” ones.  This is simplism, pure and simple.



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