A revered Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has advised the Federal Government to support splinter groups among bandits as a way to end mass abductions of school pupils.
Gumi, who spoke to The PUNCH on the telephone on Wednesday on the abduction of 200 Islamiyya schoolchildren in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, said many bandits were ready for a dialogue, adding that government could use them to fight the “ugly ones.”
He said, “We are always trying to do our best, but you see, you need two hands to shake. You know these people (bandits) need engagements from the government itself. If you dialogue with them without the involvement of the government, it is a problem.
“Government needs to be proactive with them. We have a lot of them that are ready to fight the bad ones. Use the bad to fight the ugly, and use the good to fight the bad ones when you’re done with the ugly. Look at Boko Haram, who finished Shekau? Was it not the splinter group? So, it is easy.
“All these agitations you see, if the government can do a splinter group and the splinter group is empowered, every man wants power and money, they will do your job. There are many ready to submit themselves. All the ones you see me meeting in the bush, they are all telling us, ‘we are ready.’”