Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday described the peace effort of Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to get armed bandits to lay down arms and embrace peace as an exercise in futility.
El-Rufai who spoke during an interview with the Hause service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), said the criminals were used to getting millions in ransom and would find it difficult to repent.
According to him, his government will not negotiate with bandits. He noted that eliminating them is the solution in Kaduna State.
“My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry.
“I never believed that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and is collecting millions of naira as ransom will repent. I spoke to Dr Gumi, who is my friend. I explained that majority of these bandits don’t believe in the religion. That is why they kill mercilessly.
”Anybody who thinks a Fulani herdsman that was used to only getting N100,000 in a year after selling a cow, but now is getting millions through kidnapping for ransom will stop, is only wasting his time,” he added.
Governor El-Rufai further lamented the division among governors in the North-West region in confronting banditry.
He said some governors preferred negotiation, he and some others want the opposite.
Also, Governor Sanni Bello of Niger State, said that Sheikh Gumi’s negotiation efforts with bandits is not the solution to the terror ravaging the North.
He noted that any bandit caught would face the law.
“We don’t believe in what Gumi is doing; it is not the solution to the insecurity problem in this zone. We are in full support of what the Kaduna State Government said and that is our stand also on the issue,” the Niger Governor said through his Commissioner for Information, Sani Idris.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.