“I can tell you without any fear of contradiction (that President Muhammadu) Buhari would spend the next one year seven months without addressing this issue.
“And if the next president comes and he will follow the same process, he cannot succeed.
“You have to address so many economic issues and so many issues of injustice.
“And then for you to pursue the path of dialogue. It is not a sign of weakness. That’s what Yar’Adua initiated in Niger Delta.”
These were the postulations of a Kaduna Islamic cleric, Sheikh, Dr. Ahmad Gumi, when he spoke to newsmen today, January 4 in Kaduna, through his media consultant, Tukur Mamu.
He said that if America could go to Afghanistan, spent 20 years, spent 3 trillion dollars and wasted 3,600 personnel, over 20,000 citizens killed after 20 years; they still came to dialogue with the Taliban, what do you expect in Nigeria?
“These (Americans) are people that have so much transparency, even in their military spending. You will not hear even the cases of corruption like the one we hear in Nigeria. So if they would do that after all these 20 years, what do you expect from Nigeria?”
Gumi advised Nigerians, in particular, the military to stop jubilating each time they kill bandit leader, saying that as they kill leader, another one would rise.
“There is a particular forest we visited in Niger State. The whole of the settlement had been bombarded. This settlement has nothing to do with bandits. In fact, they showed us two wells full of innocent people, dead, casualties of these bombardments.
“That’s exactly what these bandits were telling us. They said whenever we hear the sound of an aircraft, we run to our caves and then run. If they will succeed in killing anybody, it is the small children, the wives or the cows.
“That’s their own testimony. So you can imagine a country where, for example, bandits would gather in a forest and be celebrating. You don’t even have the intelligence to track them and eliminate them. Then you to say you will succeed in killing them.
“I hear them yesterday celebrating the reported death of bandit leader. So, for example, if you kill one bandit leader and another one emerges, what benefit did you derive?
“For example, you killed Dogo Gide, a person more dreaded than him emerged. When they killed Buharin Daji, Turji emerged. So what’s the success there? And for us to even be celebrating. There is nothing to celebrate, the only thing we can celebrate is that if our military succeeds in crushing them all and they cannot.”
He said the issue of security has no religious connotation as it affected everybody.
“It is something that is really consuming the society. Our major problem as a nation is how to go about solving this crisis that has defied all solutions so far.
“A lot of people are giving their own perspectives, a lot of people are giving their own thoughts about the way they think it is the appropriate way to manage the whole crisis.
“But for Sheikh Gumi, we believe people are making comments out of either naivety or out of ignorance about the quantum of the problems that we have and how to go about it.
“I think, by now, we are authorities especially on issues that have to do with banditry. The genesis of the crisis, how to go about it, and then what we’ve actually seen on the ground. This is because nobody in Nigeria has seen what we saw.”