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‘Use Of Force Won’t Tackle Insecurity, Kidnappers Getting More Vicious’ — Gumi

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Sheikh Gumi

Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, controversial Islamic cleric, has faulted the Federal Government on the use of force to secure the release of victims of kidnapping, particularly the recent abduction of 287 pupils and teachers from a Kaduna State school.

Speaking on an Arise Television yesterday, Gumi posited that the government ought to go closer to the bandits and study them to provide them with better living conditions.

The government’s use of kinetic means, according to him, has now turned the bandits into monsters.

“These bandits are getting more vicious. Before they were not doing this. They are heading to softer targets and we can only attribute this to the kinetic approach.

“Now we are fighting bandits. They are anonymous. You cannot fight someone you don’t even know. We said let’s go in, let us know them, let’s map them out – know who they are and where they belong. All this intelligence information is virtually not there.

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“The high-handed approach to the matter is what is making it worse. Now they are kidnapping children and threatening death, which they were not doing before. So, I think what to do is really go back to the drawing board and be truly non-kinetic,” he said.

On how to halt the trend, the former military officer said government should design a programme like the amnesty initiative for the Niger Delta militants.

‘You need a programme just like the Niger Delta, a programme which will bring them out of their forests, educating then, giving them healthcare, giving them peaceful life. This is how you entice people to abandon violence and militancy. But when you continue dropping bombs, they will find no sympathy and empathy for our children. This is it. An eye for an eye. This is what is happening. So, we have to change our tactics, we have to change our styles. We know leaders of bandits

“The government, everybody knows their leader. In fact, there is a book, ‘I am a bandit by one Murtala, an Academic. He listed more than 160 bandit leaders. We know their leaders by their names but you don’t know their foot soldiers. You don’t know all of them. So, you just know their leaders. If you don’t know their foot soldiers, how can you be fighting? They can just come into the town as civilians and then go out.”


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