“Why Can’t We Negotiate With Bandits, Israel And Hamas Exchange Prisoners” – Sheikh Gumi

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“Israel And Hamas Exchange Prisoners, Why Can’t We Negotiate With Bandits” – Sheikh Gumi

Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has again, urged the Federal Government to have a dialogue with the bandits.

Gumi made the siggestion following the recent kidnapping in Kaduna State and the demand of 40 trillion naira as ransom by the bandits.

Speaking on Arise TV, Gumi stated that it is better to negotiate rather than pay any ransom for the victims’ freedom.

According to him, the bandits only pitched the ludicrous amount for ransom as a bargaining tool. adding that there is a need for a change of approach by the Nigerian government to issues of banditry and terrorism in the country.

His words: “I believe no ransom should be paid but engage these people, give them hope and not only in this children’s case. I’m so sad that the leaders are just realizing that it is turning into a war.

“It has been a war and not mere criminality. If we can see Israel and Hamas sitting down to exchange prisoners, I don’t see why we cannot negotiate.

“I support that the government should not pay any ransom, but what I say is that the government must dialogue and from my knowledge about their psychology, that amount they are pitching is because they want to have a bigger bargaining power, otherwise, I don’t think in their wildest dreams, they would think the government would give them that money.

“What is happening now is that we are seeing that these bandits are getting more and more vicious. Before now, they don’t do what they do now.

“We can only attribute that to the kinetic approach, which is over-emphasized. When we hear the politicians talk, nothing is done about it to overcome these people. For example, now we are fighting bandits.

“They are anonymous, how can you fight who you do not even know? You say let’s go in, map them out and all but all this intelligence information are not there.

“How can you know somebody from satellite the high-handed approach is what is making it worse. They are now kidnapping small children and they are threatening death which they don’t do before. So, I think what we need to do is go back to the drawing board and truly be non-kinetic.

“When the victims of the train attack were held, a committee was set by the military in the former government and they were able to contact them, same way journalists have been able to contact them. If they are not there, it will be difficult to contact them but what you don’t know is that they are foot soldiers.

“We need a program just like you have for the Niger Delta. A program that will bring them out of the forest, on the premise of educating them, giving them healthcare, and giving them a peaceful life. This is how you entice people to avoid violence and militancy.

“But when you continue dropping bombs, spraying gas on the women and children, they find no sympathy and empathy for our children. So, this is it: an eye for an eye.

“So, we have to change our tactics, we have to change our style. What we have been doing has not been productive. If we can have a channel where we can have dialogue with them, understand them and promise them what we can do, I think that is a better way.”

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By Abia ThinkTank

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