Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufa’i says what is needed is a strong and coordinated fight against bandits, and not a peace deal like the one being advocated by a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
The governor disclosed this in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, (BBC) Hausa yesterday.
Gumi has been visiting bandits in their enclaves in some northern States, preaching and appealing to them to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue. El-Rufa’i, however, said even though northern governors lack coordinated efforts in the fight against insecurity in the region at the moment, he did not believe that a herdsman who is used to earning millions of naira after kidnapping operations should be considered for a peace deal.
According to the governor, “A Fulani herdsman that was used to only getting between N10,000 to N100,000 in a year after he sells a cow, but he is now getting millions from kidnapping for ransom will never stop”.
El-Rufa’i said there is no wisdom in advocating for compensation for Fulani bandits who killed people and destroyed their property, saying that earlier, the North-West governors took a common approach in tackling cattle-rustlers, but when it came to fighting bandits, the governors were divided.
He said the majority of the governors believed in dialogue with the bandits, which he disagreed with, adding that the best way of ending banditry in the North is to get our armed forces confront these bandits across the states at once and eliminate them once and for all.
This is coming as the Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said that a governor colleague had told him that female dairy hawkers, known to sell yoghurt made from cow milk and millet, have been supplying drugs to bandits. The governor stated this when he received Sheikh Gumi in Sokoto, at the weekend.
Tambuwal said Islam is a religion of peace and propagating peace will assist in salvaging people who were neck-deep in the unfortunate trade of kidnapping, Boko Haram and wanton destruction of lives and property.
Earlier, Gumi said if the situation of insecurity in the northern part of the country is left unchecked and leaders and followers disunited it would engender chaos and disunity.