Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina and a popular Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmad Gumi berated themselves over the continued activities of violent herdsmen in Northern Nigeria often refered to as bandits.
Mr Adesina, while chronicling military onslaughts against the criminals that have resorted to abducting school children, described Mr Gumi as a bandit lover.
The cleric had been at the forefront calling on the federal government to grant the violent herdsmen amnesty like it did to Niger Delta militants during the former president Musa Yar’adua administration.
He has repeatedly said dialogue was the only way to bring about lasting peace and not the use of force. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration paid deaf ears to his plea and have continued to raid the hideouts of the criminals, an action Mr Adesina said he likes.
The president’s spokesman who did not mention names said rather than encourage and support the military operations, some Nigerians, including the cleric, were discouraging the state actors.
“A bandit-lover is on record as saying military offensive would not work, and that the bandits “are going nowhere.” True? False. They are going somewhere. And that is: hell,” Mr Adesina wrote late Thursday.
In response, Mr Gumi, described Adesina as a sycophant and rejected loving the criminals he has been advocating for.
The cleric in a Facebook post Friday morning said war has never been a solution to problems universally.
“You bootlicker that called me a bandit-lover! I am not one but my country-lover, my region-lover, my state-lover, and my people-lover, and humanity-lover,” he responded.
“Only a fool would allow his dwelling to be a theatre of war. Unfortunately, how many fools are there. Killing rats in your rat-infested sitting room with an iron rod will only end up destroying your gadgets and furniture probably without killing any. We should not mask out poor governance with artillery power.
“Some disingenuous people say: peace and negotiations with herdsmen bandits have failed, and your mission has failed!
“I said my mission has not failed but it was sabotaged or discouraged by the same influential people that benefit from the chaos or like us to destroy ourselves and leave the herdsmen in perpetual ignorance.
“Some said we have tried amnesty but it didn’t work. You didn’t try amnesty but tried amnesia. Amnesty without rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation is no amnesty. Ask the former Niger Delta Militants who killed security men in the past what an amnesty is. What stops us from having a federal ministry of Nomadic Affairs where their grievances and complaints will be addressed?” Mr Gumi queried.