Ahmad Gumi, a controversial Islamic preacher, says he has stopped mediating for armed bandits after the court declared them terrorists.
Mr Gumi spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview in Kaduna on Wednesday.
He has visited bandits in the Zamfara and Niger states’ forests, providing medical assistance to them, and pressing the federal government to offer them a blanket amnesty similar to that granted to terrorists in the Niger Delta.
Before Mr Gumi began his campaign, the governors of Zamfara and Katsina, Bello Matawalle and Aminu Masari, had held talks with bandits in their respective states.
The governors, however, approved military action against the bandits after the method failed to stop the threat.
Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, and Abubakar Sani, the governor of Niger State, have persistently resisted negotiation with the outlaws.
Mr Gumi had stated that his efforts in that campaign were for the sake of Nigeria’s peace and economic progress, but that they had been destroyed.
The Federal High Court in Abuja deemed the operations of bandit groups to be acts of terrorism, according to Premium Times.
The ruling bolstered calls for the federal government to proclaim bandits terrorizing the North-western and North-central regions.
The Federation’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mohammed Abubakar, had filed an ex-parte plea seeking to outlaw the heinous actions of ‘bandits’ who have waged a never-ending battle against ordinary Nigerians in the North-west and North-central States.
Kidnapping and killing their victims has been rampant in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, and Sokoto states.
Gumi’s new position
And now that the bandits have been declared terrorists, Mr Gumi believes it will be risky for him to continue to engage them.