Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has told popular cleric Ahmad Gumi, that he will rather have any bandit arrested killed than pardon him.
He is reacting to Gumi’s call for amnesty for the bandits, saying they did not deserve that because they would never repent having tasted the huge blood money they collect from victims.
While Gumi had called for amnesty for the bandits, whom he called insurgents, after a meeting he had with them, El-Rufai insisted during a BBC interview on Monday that they were meant to be battled and eliminated.
“My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry.
“I never believed that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and is collecting millions of Naira as ransom will repent. I spoke to Dr Gumi, who is my friend; I explained that the majority of these bandits don’t believe in the religion. That is why they kill mercilessly.
”Anybody who thinks a Fulani herdsman that was used to only getting N100,000 in a year, after selling a cow, but now is getting millions through kidnapping for ransom will stop is only wasting his time.
“We the governors lack unity among ourselves in this region in working as one to neutralize the bandits. We in Kaduna and Niger State are talking on how to end the problem.
“The Governor of Niger State called me and we are discussing. Anybody that thinks a Fulani man that ventured into kidnapping for ransom and he is earning millions of Naira would go back to his former life of getting N100,000 after selling a cow in a year must be deceiving himself.
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“Why should they be compensated after killing people? They destroyed their houses. Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what I told him.
“I told him that the majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he is doing, that they should be forgiven and compensated. If any bandit is arrested in Kaduna State, the bandit will be killed because Kaduna is in war with bandits. They kill without mercy, they don’t believe in the religion.”