…SAYS ‘NO AMNESTY, COMPENSATION FOR BANDITS’
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, says efforts being made by a prominent northern Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to prevail on bandits to lay down arms and embrace peace may end up as an exercise in futility.
Governor El-Rufai said the bandits were used to collecting fat ransom and so would not be disposed to repenting and foregoing such big monies.
The Kaduna governor stressed that his was at war with the bandits and, therefore, had no room for negotiations, warning that any bandit caught in the state would be killed.
El-Rufai stated these in an interview with the BBC Hausa monitored in Kaduna on Monday.
“My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry,” he said.
He said Gumi is wasting his time as there won’t be any forgiveness and compensation for bandits.
According to him, “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 the 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.”
El-Rufai also expressed regret over the division in the ranks of the governors in the Northwest region on the synergy to confront the criminal elements in the North.
The Kaduna governor stated that while some of his colleagues preferred dialogue with the bandits as a solution, he and other governors thought otherwise.
El-Rufai said, “We the governors lack unity among ourselves in this region in working as one to neutralise the bandits. We in Kaduna and Niger State are talking on how to end the problem.
“The Governor of Niger State called me and we are discussing. Anybody that thinks a Fulani man that ventured into kidnapping for ransom and he is earning millions of Naira would go back to his former life of getting N100,000 after selling a cow in a year, must be deceiving himself.
“Why should they be compensated after killing people? They destroyed their houses. Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what I told him.
“I told him that the majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he is doing, that they should be forgiven and compensated. If any bandit is arrested in Kaduna State, the bandit will be killed because Kaduna is in war with bandits. They kill without mercy, they don’t believe in the religion.”