Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a controversial Islamic cleric, revealed on Monday why he believes Nigerians are seeing an increase in banditry.
The cleric blamed previous governments, including the current one, for the banditry issue.
According to the Daily Post, he insisted that the long marginalisation and exploitation of herdsmen was to blame for the rise in banditry.
“The long process of neglect of herdsmen by previous regimes, utter neglect, marginalisation, and no one showing concern for their plight has led to what we have now, so in that case, I blame all previous governments.
“This government should address this issue correctly; they are attempting to address the issue incorrectly, which is exacerbating the situation,” Gumi said.
Gumi also said that most bandits were eager to make more money before security agents apprehended them.
According to the Islamic cleric, the rush is to blame for the rise in abductions and ransom demands.
Gumi said that the majority of bandits have laid down their weapons and that only a few fragments are carrying out attacks.
“What is happening is similar to when you spray an insecticide in a room infested with mosquitoes; there is an initial reaction, which is what is happening,” Gumi explained. There is an uncoordinated burden on bandits from both sides; perhaps this is why we are seeing the results we are seeing.
“However, I believe what is happening is that no one spoke to them to draw attention to their dilemma, so they are terribly divided.
“The vast majority of the bandits we met with have laid down their weapons and are willing to start negotiations. In the other side, there are a few others that think, “We will conquer them, but in the meantime, we will make the most of the scheme,” which is why they are so eager that they now kill their hostages, they now want ransom payments done faster than when they had enough time and the forest to themselves.”