Controversial Islamic scholar and preacher, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has said some politicians are worse than bandits as more Nigerians had been killed by the effect of mismanagement of resources than banditry.
Gumi said this in an opinion piece on his Facebook page titled, ‘War has never been a solution anywhere, anytime’.
According to the preacher, some Nigerians had died from cholera because of lack of clean potable water.
He said, “Some of the politicians, who I see as urban-bandits, out of their share mismanagement of our meager resources and misplacement of priority, cause the death and infirmity of more people than the effect of bandits.
“Of recent, how many Nigerians die of cholera – a water-borne disease – because of lack of simple clean water to drink, or typhoid, malaria and malnutrition?
“A nation with a maternal mortality rate of almost 500,000 per annum because of the lack of adequate maternal health facilities and qualified staff. A country where its highly-priced medical personnel are looking for a window to escape the inferno. Such a country, please!”
Gumi, who from his piece seemed disgruntled about the killings of some bandits by military officers, said his mission was sabotaged by some influential people.
He said, “Some disingenuous people say, ‘Peace and negotiations with herdsmen, bandits have failed, and your mission has failed!’ I said my mission has not failed but it was sabotaged or discouraged by the same influential people that benefit from the chaos or like us to destroy ourselves and leave the herdsmen in perpetual ignorance.”
The cleric, who is known for his interventions and negotiations with bandits, lamented that it was unjust for the military to have turned around and killed repentant bandits.
He lamented, “ Some said we have tried amnesty but it didn’t work. You didn’t try amnesty but tried amnesia. Amnesty without rehabilitation, reconciliation and reparation is no amnesty.
“Ask the former Niger Delta militants who killed security men in the past what an amnesty is. What stops us from having a federal ministry of nomadic affairs where their grievances and complaints would be addressed?
“All the bandit leaders we saw complained of how some repentant ones were picked and extra-judicially killed after the surrender of their weapons. Without their trust of the very unjust system all Nigerians complain of, which they took arms to fight, peace and negotiations with them will not work. This brings our role of mediation. They know as religious men we will not deceive them, and they came out in troops to meet us. To our astonishment, it is the same unjust system that turns round to betray our peace mission.”
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had tackled the controversial Islamic scholar, for saying military onslaught would worsen banditry in Nigeria.
Adesina, who in an article on his Facebook wall on Thursday titled, ’I like this pampering. Don’t you?’ quoted a post by Gumi, wrote, “Before they got to this sorry pass, they had the chance to turn a new leaf. Zamfara, Katsina and many other states offered dialogue. The governments tried to negotiate with them. But they were contumacious.
“Like dogs fated for destruction, they refused to hear the hunters’ whistle. They filled the land with sorrow, tears and blood, ‘dem regular trademark’ (as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would say). Now, the shoe is on the other foot.
“In the different evil forests, when the Nigerian Air Force strikes from the sky, the remnants of the evildoers not killed immediately attempt to flee. The ground troops then pick them off like flies. I say it again. One has never been prouder of our troops. They are cleaning up the country.
“Shocking and disconcerting, however, that in the middle of all these, you still hear words meant to discourage our gallant soldiers. A bandit-lover is on record as saying a military offensive would not work and that the bandits ‘are going nowhere.’ True? False. They are going somewhere. And that is: hell.”