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Sheikh Gumi justifies banditry, says they want justice, equity and sense of belonging

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Sheikh Gumi justifies banditry, says they want justice, equity and sense of belonging

Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has said that drug barons and gun runners turned Fulani herders into bandits who are now terrorising Northern states.

The controversial cleric who made his views known at a peace conference organised by the Center For the Advancement of Human Dignity and Value held at Arewa House, Kaduna on Thursday, noted that the killings, kidnappings by bandits can only be stopped by hijacking them (bandits) from “these evil arms and drug dealers.”

“When they are hijacked by evil people, drug addicts, gunrunners, we should not allow people to hijack them. Let us hijack them back to the society, this is what we need to do. They have dignity too, they should be respected and given all the human right everybody has,” he said.

Gumi traced the problem of insecurity in the region to lack of religion, lack of knowledge and Enlightenment, saying, they herders were left alone without adequate funds even with the creation of Nomadic education.

The Islamic scholar said when he visited the bandits in the forest, they talked about justice, equity and a sense of belonging as enshrined in the constitution.

“For three years the government has spent $1 billion and now you need another $1billion, but I said one third of that $1billion will enlighten them and stop the killing. Have you tried it? Nobody tried it. They (bandits) have empathy like we have, they have families, children.

“I realized one thing, lack of religion, lack of knowledge, ignorance is the cause of insecurity. I also realised that enlightenment is the cure, when you enlighten them you can cure them.

“We have left a big section of Nigerians (herders) with nothing; we left them with animals, we don’t do anything for them. The nomadic education was left with no funding. How do you cure it? Some are suggesting kill them all because they are killing people

“When I visited the bandits in the forest, the first thing I did was to use psychology on them. I allowed them to state their grievances. They were ready to change. So, what were their conditions? They are talking about justice, equity and a sense of belonging as enshrined in the constitution

“When a herdsman comes before the court of law, his rights are violated because he is ignorant, they told me nobody gave them justice. What do they have? Nothing I came out of the forest to address the authority. When I came out I wanted to look for the authorities to sit down and explain to them the way out but I found out that going on that difficult journey to the forest of Niger State is easier than getting the attention of somebody in Aso Rock

“We think that we are educated, we are ignorant because we don’t understand the dignity of human lives. We don’t value human lives. These criminals can turn into saints one day. So, there is a way we can solve our problems

“Everybody by our constitution must be given fair hearing, justice and equity and everybody is free to choose his or her religion nobody should impose anything on anybody. There is no compulsion, there should be equity in whatever we do, no one should suppress or oppress others

“What we see today is lack of civilization. Too much blood is flowing in Nigeria unnecessarily and we have not yet understood the human dignity and value both the leading and the led. Man has value and dignity, you cannot force your religion on anybody. Why is blood flowing too much in the country?” he queried.

Earlier in his welcome address, the President CAHDV, Engr. Joseph John Ameh, called on Nigerians to live harmoniously and stop killings and kidnappings. “We are created by one God, let us value human lives and embrace unity,” he said.

The Director Arewa House Kaduna, Dr. Shuibu Shehu Aliyu said that selfish political elites are using religious leaders to cause insecurity in the society, adding that, “our values have collapsed and Nigeria is in a sinking ship. Therefore, we must return to the drawing board and salvage our dear country.”

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Nnamdi Kanu: Imo residents observe sit-at-home for IPOB leader’s trial

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Residents of Imo State, especially Orlu town and Owerri municipal, on Tuesday, stayed indoors to observe the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who appeared in court today.

It was gathered that the state secretariat, motor parks, schools, banks, shops and markets across the major cities were all shut down.

Even the Imo State University junction, Government House Roundabout, Control Post Roundabout, Warehouse junction Roundabout, Ikenegbu, Mbari, Douglas, Okigwe Road, and Wethedral Roads, were scanty.

In Orlu, the ever-busy Banana junction and Okwudo junction were more like ghost towns.

A journalist, Mr Martin Nwoke, in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu.

He said Imolites and the people of southeast states were the ones suffering the heat of the order.

Nwoke said, “In this part of the world, everything we do here involves money. I am begging President Buhari to pity us and free Nnamdi Kanu.”

A lawyer, Barr. Emeka Obi, told our correspondent that he could not go to file a court process due to non-availability of transport, while children, who could not go to school, resorted to playing football on the streets at Akwakuma.

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Plateau monarch abducted

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Barely three weeks after the kidnap of a paramount ruler in Plateau State, the military task force responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), has confirmed that gunmen have abducted HRH. Da Gyang Balak Gut, the Da Gwom Rwei of Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.

The traditional ruler was kidnapped on Sunday night on his way home to Vom, a few metres from the gate of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos South LGA.

Recalls that following the abduction of the Sum Pyem, Da Charles Mato Dakat, on the 26th December, 2021, before he was released five days later, the United Mwaghavul Lawyers Association (UMLA) had described the incident as not an attack on an individual, but on the entire traditional institution in Plateau State.

The lawyers equally had said it views the kidnapping of the royal father as not an isolated incident, “but the beginning of a well-orchestrated plan to intimidate and decapitate our treasured leaders in the state and the Middle Belt at large”.

While condemning the dastardly act, on behalf of UMLA, Barr. Philemon Daffi reminded the federal, state and local governments of their shared responsibility under the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Spokesman of OPSH, Major Ishaku Takwa, who confirmed the incident, said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in conjunction with other security agencies are on trail of the kidnappers.

“God’s willing, the security agencies will soon close-up on the criminals”, he maintained.

Vwang District is where the famous National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom is situated in Plateau State.

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Suspected cultists arrested with female pant, charms in Delta

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Police operatives attached to the Delta state police command raiders unit, have arrested twenty suspected cultists at a black spot in Ogarafe,  Oghara in Ethiope west LGA of the state.

Confirming the arrest to newsmen, the spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Edafe Bright, said during the raid of the hot spot, a fabricated wooden gun, six hundred and forty-eight wraps of weed suspected to be Indian hemp, one used female pant, various charms, one Knife, Sixteen bottles of codeine, ten packs of razlers, one Grinder used in grinding weeds and the sum of sixty-nine thousand (#69,000) were recovered from the suspect.

He said the suspect will be arraigned in court soon.

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