Controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, has stated that he will no longer take part in negotiations with bandits as a consequence of their new ‘terrorist’ tag.
Recalls that federal high court in Abuja made the declaration last Friday in a case brought against two violent criminal groups.
The verdict strengthens the call on the federal government to declare bandits ravaging the North-western and the North-central regions of Nigeria as terrorists.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to prohibit the activities of the ‘bandits’.
While moving the application last week, Abubakar informed the court that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the declaration of bandits as terrorists.
In his ruling, the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, held that the activities of ‘Yan Bindiga’ (gunmen) and ‘Yan Ta’adda’ (terrorist) bandit groups constitute acts of terrorism.
Responding once more to the court’s judgement, Gumi revealed in a video interview published on Monday the reasons behind his latest decision not to negotiate with bandits anymore.
“We do not want to push the bandits beyond what they are presently doing because it can get worse. Why are you rushing to declare them terrorists when they are willing to negotiate?” Gumi said to TVC News.
Speaking further, Gumi added,
“The remaining door of negotiating with them are the clerics, but the door is now closed. I will not contact them again because that would mean one is aiding terrorists.”