Islamic group calls on all bandits to surrender
Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has denied that he was invited or arrested by the State Security Service (SSS) adding that the government was aware of his rapport with the bandits in the forests.
Recall that the cleric was invited by the SSS based on his interview with Arise TV alleging that security agents collaborate with bandits to engage in killing and kidnapping for ransom.
However, Gumi after the Jumaat prayer at Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna State denied claims that he was invited or arrested by the SSS.
“Nobody invited me for questioning or any arrest, I can say that categorically,”
“Since I ventured into the forest, I went there with full security, the police, with the knowledge of the DSS, traditional rulers, the Fulani leaders, I never went alone.”
The sheikh added that all along he and government officials have been engaging the bandits and there is no cause for alarm from the public.
“All along, I have been doing it with the government and there is no difference between us and the authority. So people should have their peace,” the cleric said.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has warned those making excuses for bandits to desist stating that the punishments for bandits in the Quran include either execution or crucifixion, cutting off their hands and legs from opposite sides, or sending them into exile
In a statement signed by the director of MURIC Professor Ishaq Akintola, he called on all Islamic clerics to educate the public on the position of Shariah regarding banditry.
“We should also let the bandits know the gravity of their crimes and the ‘kabiirah’ status of their sins,” MURIC added.
MURIC noted that banditry is categorised in Islam as waging unprovoked war against the people, Allah and the great Prophet Muhammad.
“It says, ‘The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger by spreading evil and committing atrocities in the land is either execution or crucifixion or cutting off their hands and legs from opposite sides or sending them into exile. That is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment awaits them in the Hereafter (Qur’an 5:33).
“Note should be taken of the promise of ‘heavy punishment’ for bandits even after death. It is for this reason that we are calling on all Islamic scholars in the country to boldly rise to the task and interprete the Shariah in a befitting manner.
The Islamic human rights group called on all bandits to surrender to the state governments wherever they are operating without any form of negotiations.
“We therefore reiterate our call on all bandits and herdsmen who are traumatising Nigerians in Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Enugu, Yobe, etc, to surrender without delay,” MURIC said.
“The atrocities committed by bandits and criminal herdsmen in all parts of the country should be fiercely confronted by state governments.
“Nigeria today is being slowly strangulated by two extremists, namely, those who idolise bandits and those who demonise ethnicities. Both groups are two extremes that must be deradicalised as quickly as possible.”