Aprominent Kaduna-based Islamic cleric and former military officer, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has told the Nigerian Government to embrace the idea of negotiation with the bandits and other non-state actors ravaging the country.
During an interview with Trust TV, the Islamic cleric stated that the government is wrong to continue spending billions of naira to combat banditry and terrorism.
According to him, the only way to secure security is for the government to engage in an open discussion with the terrorists.
He added that the root of security problems in the country could linked to the age-long farmer-herder crisis across the North and alleged that this could only be solved through negotiation and not war.
Gumi also berated the Nigerian military over the recent mistaken bombardment of Tudun Biri residents in Kaduna State, adding that the incident is an indication for the government to strengthen the capacity of the police force to stop the military from interfering in the country’s internal security.
“This is not the first time such is happening. The military should fight the military. Tank by tank. Jet by jet. The military should be out of fighting insecurity. We are not fighting Cameroon or Togo,” the cleric was quoted by Daily Trust as saying.
He continued: “And the jet fighters should not be used on citizens. I cannot imagine any American president, no matter how instructive, would use F16 to bombard Americans. Impossible. He would go down the next day.
“What we need are very good policies. Then stronger policing. That’s where our money should go. All those people should be involved in community policing.
“In every society you have very good people and they are the majority. Nigerians are very humble people; very resilient who can sustain a lot of hardship. So I don’t see why good governance and good policing should be a big deal.
“All the money we spend on buying all these Second World War aeroplanes and artillery and jets to fight insurgency is an archaic way of dealing with this issue. And billions of naira are spent on that.
“Negotiate with these people. Build for them schools and hospitals. Let them have future. Build for them markets. Even the people we call bandits, what they sometimes complain is that they no longer have cattle markets because whenever they establish market, it gets destroyed.
“So the military should be out of this picture completely. We are not fighting a foreign country. We should develop our internal security.”
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