Renowned Islamic Scholar, Sheik Abubakar Gumi has said if those who instigated civil war where millions of people were killed were pardoned why not do the same to bandits.
He posed this question yesterday, in Kaduna, while expressing his reservation over the statement made against him by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The cleric said for Nigeria to get out of banditry and achieve peace, the bandits must be forgiven.
Sheikh Gumi, a self-appointed peacemaker between the bandits and the government, pointed out that “even those that instigated civil war, the civil war that millions of people died, were pardoned. I see no reason why we cannot accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty”.
He further argued that “if the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule”.
The Islamic scholar insisted that had not betrayed soldiers of the Christian faith before the bandits when he visited them in the forests in Niger State. According to him, he was misunderstood by CAN because the video that went viral about his discussion with the bandits was distorted and the actual message was manipulated.
“Nigerians should embrace each other and live in peace. We should not try to do anything that will cause havoc. I will also call on the press to desist from sensational reporting because this nation is already in flames.
“We have been together for long and nobody can separate us, we should learn to live together in peace”, he stated.