Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, says bandits are very shy people.
Gumi had said bandits are victims of cattle rustling and extortion, adding that they deserve to be forgiven and compensated.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, the cleric described bandits as very shy people who are only interested in their cows.
He said should the federal government choose to grant them amnesty, they would surrender their arms.
“These people (bandits) know how to organise themselves and protect themselves and they have started attacking villages all around. Once you touch one of them, the whole of them will come together to attack a village. They mobilise themselves through the bush. So, it is not good to attack them, honestly speaking,” Gumi said.
“The Hausa are suffering and they have therefore stopped attacking the Fulani herdsmen. So, we should not attack them. We should just pacify them and they are a very shy people. If you meet them, they are very shy.
“When you offer them amnesty, they drop their weapons. Then you go in, build schools for them, build hospitals for them, get them censored; get them registered; then you can control (them).
“You can’t have access to them through the gun. Honestly, they know the terrain in the bush more than our military. So, it is better to negotiate with them.”
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, had said he does not agree with Gumi on how to deal with bandits.
The governor said bandits will not be willing to give up kidnapping, considering the huge amount of money they make from ransom.