Islamic cleric, Shiekh Ahmed Gumi has stated that the Boko Haram sect can still be redeemed, demanding creation of Ministry of Nomadic Affairs for proper coordination.
He also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to calculate all the empowerment spent on the Niger Delta region and do same to the Fulani.
Gumi said the country is presently at war and the best way out is to create a Ministry of Nomadic Affairs as has been done for the people of the Niger Delta region saying that the Fulani are only acting out now, because they have been pushed to the wall, a result of their feeling that they have been left behind while the world moves on without them, DailyTimes gathered.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the 1st Interactive Policy Dialogue and Cultural Festival organised by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association with theme: “The Future of Fulani Pastoralists in Nigeria,” the Muslim leader said: “The children that were killing and kidnapping people opened their doors freely to us when we visited, hearing that we were there to preach the gospel, all they want is to dialogue.
“Send people that they respect for dialogue with them and they will listen by the grace of God and this problem will be solved.
“Everyone is to blame for their actions including the bandits. They feel the world has developed and left them behind, all the injustice being meted out to them.
“How do we resolve this, we need to walk amongst them, embrace and ensure that all they deserve is given to them. The havoc they are causing is hindering farming, villages have been displaced because they feel that they were also displaced from their homes.
“We are at war and the solution is what was done for the people of the Niger delta, how the government got them justice and even gave them a Ministry, why can’t the government give us a Ministry of nomadic affairs; Education will be inclusive, empowerment and hospitals.
“They still have respect and behave like everyone else when you meet with them, we need to come together, politicians, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders to assist them. They are acting out because they have been pushed to the wall, since the inception of Nigeria as a country, they have never gotten real assistance.
“Now, gather all their monies and give them. Calculate how much you have given to the Niger Delta region since they started their agitations, I heard it is running into trillions, so the Fulani also, want theirs, gather all their monies and give them.
“I am calling on the President, before you leave office, hand over the money, meet their leaders, get to them. 99.9 per cent of Fulani are peace-loving, only 0.1 cents are causing all the havoc, which is not being caused for mere mischief but because they have been pushed to the wall.”
The popular Islamic Cleric further noted that there is every need to engage with the Fulani pointing that it will show a positive result.
“My only fear is the infiltration of terrorists into their midst, it’s a factor we have to consider seriously and even the terrorists themselves, I think there is neglect. Until now, Boko Haram is not a hopeless case, so we have to protect our herdsmen from their infiltration.
“There is a treaty we have with all non-Muslims in Nigeria to live together in peace, which was reached with the colonial masters, and renewed every time we elect members of the House of Assembly.
“No Muslim has the right to injure or kill any non-Muslim in this country under the treaty and the Prophet has instructed us not to kill any soul that we enter into a treaty of peace with, and we have agreed constitutionally to stay in peace with all non-Muslims.”
Also speaking, Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu said the security challenges being faced in the country require international support to enable the country and the affected states, resolve the crisis.
Bagudu whose state is affected by the activities of the armed bandits said states lack the resource to solve the problem, calling for international and regional support for solution.
According to Bagudu, “We need to put pressure on the leadership to bring forth more resources to solving the problem. Our resource is lean, hence the need for international and regional support for solution.”
Lecturer of the Department of Sociology, University of Abuja, Prof. Umar Kari said his interactions with the bandits, show they have great love and respect for clerics