Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, on Tuesday met with some bandits in the Tubali and Makkai forests in Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State.
Okay.ng understands that Gumi preached the message of Islam and peace to the gunmen in a bid to reduce kidnappings and banditry in the country.
At the first settlement in Tubali Forest, the scholar was said to have met with about 150 armed Fulanis who expressed their grievances and why it would be difficult for them to surrender their arms.
The chairman of Shinkafi council reportedly said before the peace agreement with the bandits, there were frequent and rampant cases of kidnappings on Shinkafi-Gusau road while instances of frequent attacks with heavy casualties were rampant, adding that presently, the council had spent seven months without a single attack.
The bandit commander, identified simply as Bello, said, “Let the killings of our loved ones by security agents without due process of the law stop, as well as cattle rustling that denied most of us legitimate means of livelihood.”
At Makkai Forest, Gumi and his entourage met with more than 600 bandits with automatic rifles.
Their top commander, one Kachalla Turji, welcomed the Sheikh.
Like in Tubali, the bandits in Makkai expressed frustration at government attitude towards them.
Gumi said: “Let there be peace; you all have a legitimate concern and grievances, and I believe that since the Niger Delta armed militants were integrated by the Federal Government and are even in the business of pipelines protection, the Federal Government should immediately look into how something like that will be done to the Fulani to provide them with reasonable means of livelihood including jobs, working capitals, entrepreneurship training, building clinic and schooling.”