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Killings By Bandits And Herdsmen Are Mostly Accidental – Sheik Gumi




A prominent Kaduna-based cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, has defended bandits, saying they are fighting an “ethnic war”.

Speaking on Channels TV programme on Monday, Gumi stated that most killing done by Fulani herdsmen are accidental.

According to the clergyman, bandits are not interested in killing people, said they only kill people when they are avenging the death of one of them.

He said the bandits are mostly interested in ransoms from kidnapping and also open to negotiation.
“I choose to call them militants because they are fighting an ethnic war,” Gumi said.


“They are kidnapping to get money. Look at the case where they released a bus full of people, they were asking N500 million but now, they freed them with mere negotiations for free. Nothing was paid.

“Since there is a peace process, they are ready to lay down their arms, stop kidnapping and all the things they are doing.
“And you call them killer herdsmen, how many people do they kill?

“When they kill, it is mostly accidental, maybe somebody they took who is sick. But tell me who they have killed? How many? Few.”

On where the bandits have razed down villages during attacks, he said: “That killing is not because of criminality but for ethnic revenge. And they don’t attack a village except that village did something to one of them,” he added.


The cleric also warned that the bandits might be influenced by Boko Haram insurgents operating in the north-east if “if the pressure is too much”.

“I am afraid they can be influenced by Boko Haram. And we have seen the signs that Boko Haram is going to infiltrate them but so far, they are not Boko Haram,” he said.

Of late, Sheikh Gumi has been seen in photos holding talks with notorious bandits in the forests of Zamfara, Niger and other states. He had also advocated blanket amnesty for the bandits like was done for the militants in the Niger Delta region.

The cleric stressed that the bandits were fighting an ethnic war. He also said the bandits speak Fulfulde and Hausa, adding that they are Nigerians.



“They are Nigerians, no doubt about that. Some of them have parents in the town.”

“Now we are not talking about banditry but an ethnic war between the nomadic Fulani, the herdsmen and the others – everybody who is not them.

“We are having an ethnic war, the Fulani feels his existence is threatened. What they do is to call other people from other places. Irrespective of where they are, a Fulani is a Fulani, they go to defend their kinsmen, that is why they transit the borders and then go back,” Sheik Gumi added.

Sheik Gumi insisted that peaceful negotiation was the only way to end the menace of banditry. He, therefore, called on Christian and Muslim leaders to join him in brokering peace with the bandits.


Attacks by bandits on unsuspecting citizens have been on the increase in recent times.


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