Controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, says he has
quit mediating for armed bandits following their
declaration as terrorists by the court
Mr Gumi spoke in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM
TIMES in Kaduna on Wednesday,. monitored by Oniftv.
He had visited bandits in the forests in Zamfara and Niger
states, taken medical services to them and has been
urging the federal government to grant them a general
amnesty as was done to the militants in the Niger Delta.
Before Mr Gumi started his campaign, the Zamfara State
Governor, Bello Matawalle, and his counterparts in
Katsina, Aminu Masari, had engaged bandits in their state
But after the approach failed to end the menace, the
governors endorsed military actions against the bandits.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Niger State
counterpart, Abubakar Sani, have consistently opposed
dialogue with the outlaws.
Mr Gumi had said his efforts in that campaign were for the
sake of peace and economic prosperity of Nigeria, but
lamented that the efforts have been sabotaged.
Premium Times reported how the Federal High Court in
Abuja declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of
The verdict strengthened the call on the federal
government to declare bandits ravaging the North-western
and the North-central regions as terrorists.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution
(DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application
seeking to proscribe the grisly activities of ‘bandits’ who
have been waging a relentless war against ordinary
Nigerians in the North-west and North-central States.
The bandits have been vicious in kidnapping and killing
their captives across Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and
Gumi’s new position
And now with the declaration of the bandits as terrorists,
Mr Gumi said it will be dangerous for him to continue to
engage the bandits.
He told our reporter that “since the federal government
has declared them terrorists, I don’t have anything to do
with them anymore.
“I will not like to expose myself to danger again and to
put a spotlight on myself unnecessarily,” the cleric said.
“I have tried all I could do to admonish the nation on the
best way to do it, but it seems my advice has fell (fallen)
on deaf ears.”
The cleric in previous media interviews, had advised the
federal government to grant amnesty to the bandits, and
to establish a ‘federal ministry of nomadic affairs’ which
will address the grievances and complaints of Fulani
But from now, Mr Gumi said he would be a “spectator in
“I have endangered my life for peace by going to the
forest and engaged the bandits. Among them there are
rock bandits, they are dangerous, armed ready to fire.
“It is dangerous, still we risked our lives to see that we
bring peace to this nation. Because somebody has to take
that risk and we took it and thanked God we came out
safely and knowledgeable, knowing how to come about
Mr Gumi said “Maybe in the future when the political
situation changes for better, we can do it again so that
there will be peace, harmony and tranquility in the