Kaduna based controversial Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned against declaration of bandits as terrorists, saying such action from government will come with a prize.
Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that speakers of the 36 state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria on Saturday called on the Federal Government to declare bandits and kidnappers as terrorists, adding that kidnapping and banditry should be dealt with decisively.
The Speakers made the call after the National Assembly and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai had made same demand.
Gumi while reacting to the calls in a statement titled, ‘Declaring Bandits As Terrorists Will Come With A Prize’, said the moment bandits are termed terrorists, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force.
This, he said may be found palatable and attractive by many teaming unemployed youths.
The statement read in part: “Nobody doubts that sentimentalism today overrides sensibility in our polity. For the sake of posterity, some people will have to speak out.
“The acts the bandits are committing now in NW have gradually over time become tantamount to terrorism because wherever innocent people are fatal victims it’s pure terrorism. Yet, innocence these days is relative. We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. It’s right for vigilantes to lynch Fulanis herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds.
“Yet again, the only helpful part that is against bandits is that no other than them are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and coloration.
“However, the moment they are termed Terrorist – Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force. And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive. Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth.
“Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits. This will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim.
“In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is, has the moral high ground to fight back? This is the most probable consequence, the price of which is not worth it. Nothing stops the kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics.”