Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

It is unfair to compare the menace of herdsmen who are called bandits kidnapping to make money with that of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) killing security agencies, Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmad Gumi has said.

Mr Gumi who stated this on Wednesday while featuring on Arise Television said by kidnapping to demand ransom, the herdsmen are better than the secessionist group whom he claimed were killing security agencies in the South East region despite the group’s denial of responsibility.

“IPOB is attacking the police, the army, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other government institutions; killing our men in service,” he said.

“And the herdsmen are kidnapping children not to kill them but to get money; so how can you compare somebody who is killing our gallant men directly to somebody who is kidnapping children to make money and not to kill them. Look, we need some fairness in what we are doing,” Gumi said.

Banditry a business

He described banditry as a business which some bad elements in the security agencies are also profiting from and said suggested that combating it needs the overhauling of security agencies.

“These bandits, if you don’t know, are cooperating with a lot of bad elements in our security system. This is a business. So many people are involved, you’ll be so surprised,” the cleric said.

“They were caught in Zamfara; they were caught everywhere, how do these big weapons cross our borders? How can these big weapons cross our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some bad element of the security operatives assisting them? It’s not possible. If I give you the same amount of guns can you take it to the UK? You can’t, because the security is alert.

”Part of fighting this banditry is to overhaul our security system,” he added.

According to the index of TheCable, over 800 students have been kidnapped since herdsmen called bandits began abducting school children in December 2020, with five students killed so far.

The killing of security agencies in the South East have also risen last December when the Nnamdi Kanu led group launched its militia arm known as Eastern Security Network (ESN) whose mandate, according to Mr Kanu, is mainly to chased away violent herdsmen from the Igbo predominant area.