Sheik Ahmad Gumi

Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi has called on the federal government to employ bandits to secure educational facilities in the country.

Mr Gumi, who has been demanding amnesty for the violent herdsmen whose animals were rustled, made the call in an interview with Punch Newspapers.

He said until banditry is brought to an end, no school in the country is secure. While noting that armed bandits in the North West are upto to 100, 000 in numbers, he advised the government against bombarding the bandits as it will further worsen the situation.

“To secure schools, why not engage the bandits. Engage them; they are not many,” the cleric suggested. “You can count them with your fingers. How can you guard schools? It is not possible.

“In the whole North-West, they may not be more than 100,000 bandits. And that is just a drop in the ocean. That is talking about those with weapons; because not all of them have weapons.

“Ninety per cent of those who have weapons use them to protect themselves against cattle rustlers. They are victims too. Aerial bombardments will only worsen the situation because when you start killing their children, you remember they also have our children,” he added.

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Schools in the North have become targets of the bandits who demand hundreds of million of naira when they abduct students and pupils.