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; ‘ Nigerian democracy and nation- building problems’ , Lukman criticized Gumi’ s comparison of northern bandits to Niger Delta Militants.
He claimed that bandits can not be compared to Niger Delta militants who were granted amnesty by the Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua- led administration.
Lukman discloses to the public that 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.
Surprisingly, several Nigerian officials have rejected the current military operations against bandits. 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 Militants.
Speaking further Lukam said that a nation cannot be developed with leaders and elders who hold opinions that are opposed to national growth, stressing that Nigerians cannot continue to face the threat of insecurity, and some leaders are striving 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.
He said that when politicians criticize the government’ s operations against bandits and rebels, they encourage criminals to continue their malicious activities, adding that 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” , he said.