Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has disclosed that his interactions with bandits were done in the presence of government officials.
Gumi disclosed this while rebuking those calling for his arrest and prosecution over his interaction with bandits.
The Islamic cleric described those calling for his arrest as “clowns.”
Recall that the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, had called for the arrest and prosecution of Sheikh Gumi.
HURIWA had pointed out that Gumi’s interaction with bandits was a treasonable offence that should be decisively dealt with.
However, the Kaduna-based cleric stressed that he was not the first to have negotiated with bandits.
Speaking with newsmen, Gumi noted that Kaduna and Zamfara States’ governors had met with bandits before him.
Asked to respond to those calling for his arrest, Gumi said: “Those are clowns, even the Kaduna State governor dialogued with them, Zamfara governor dialogued with them.
“I’m not the first person that started dialoguing with them (bandits). I only added value, and I find them to be religious; religion is the only thing that teaches you that blood has sanctity. So this is the religious angle.
I’m trying to gather them and teach them that there is sanctity to life. They cannot kill, rape and so on. This is the addition I hope will work. Note, I never visited these bandits without a government official, but they are in the background.
“All the bandits we met were with government officials, and that is why I said those calling for my arrest are clowns.”
The Islamic cleric also insisted that his interaction with bandits has yielded instant positive results.
“My interaction with bandits has yielded instant results. When you are dealing with somebody engrossed in criminality, if you approach him as a policeman, you will have a problem but if you come to him as a pastor, he will confess all his sins to you.
“So we approach them as clergy, and they feel comfortable to vomit all their problems. Hence, we see how we can appease and help them.
“We are not approaching them as an authority but from the spiritual angle. You know every human being has that spiritual influence, and that is why we are adopting that,” he added.