Dr. Salihu Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), which represents the governors of the All Progressives Congress, has chastised Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, a notorious Kaduna State-based Islamic cleric, for requesting amnesty for bandits spreading mayhem in the north. Gumi’s stance, he said, was both a threat to national security and a self-serving venture. In a statement titled “Nigerian democracy and nation-building problems,” Lukman criticized Gumi’s comparison of northern bandits to Niger Delta insurgents.
He claimed that robbers “cannot be compared to Niger Delta militants who were granted amnesty by the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regime.” “All arms of the security services have been fully mobilized and are fighting together to smash the bandits in the Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna forests,” he said. Surprisingly, several Nigerian officials have rejected the current military operations against the robbers.
“So-called media commentators, religious leaders, and others have questioned the government’s decision to shut down communication services, marketplaces, and other services in states where military operations are taking place. Military operations against the criminals have already been declared a failure by a religious leader. “What a skewed perspective. Perhaps Nigeria should revert to the days when hundreds of millions of dollars meant for weaponry acquisition to combat insurgency, banditry, and other forms of criminality were diverted and distributed to religious leaders for prayers.
“Rather than mobilizing security forces to combat criminals, resources currently being used to combat insecurity in the country could be allocated to religious leaders to pray for the bandits to return to their senses. “Perhaps this is what Sheikh Ahmad Gumi is teaching when he says the government should provide amnesty to bandits in the North, similar to how the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration dealt with Niger Delta insurgents.
“Anyone who makes this argument is already contributing to Nigeria’s national security issue. Nigerians must rise to the task of policing the behavior of so-called leaders, particularly religious clerics. Because they are jaundiced, most of these leaders are hostile to measures aimed at nation-building. “Aside from religious clerics, there are other types of leaders in the country that hold similar skepticism. Individuals who, in their right as elders, have paid their dues to this country have grown vehemently opposed to the government’s every decision and action.
However one looks at it, a nation cannot be developed with leaders and elders who hold opinions that are diametrically opposed to national growth. Nigerians cannot face the threat of insecurity, and some politicians are attempting to undermine the government’s efforts to root out the criminal forces responsible for all of the country’s woes, including the deaths of citizens. When leaders disregard government efforts against bandits and rebels, they encourage criminals to continue their malicious activities. Nigerians may feel enraged at the government and political leaders.
Under no circumstances should anyone take advantage of Nigerians’ rage to covertly encourage illegal activity. If the Nigerian nation is to have a shared goal and a strong national bond, these disputes must have certain specified boundaries.