Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has called for the provision of more social amenities to curb banditry in the country.
Bandits have stepped up attacks in several parts of the country killing people, kidnapping for ransom and raping people.
Gumi, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a retreat on inclusive security organised by the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with Vision Africa, said bandits initially started by kidnapping people before they resorted to killing their victims.
“We all know that bandits initially don’t kill people like that, they kidnap people to get money. So what has metamorphosed and turned them into a Frankenstein, a monster that is now trying to kill people just like that for the pleasure of it,” Gumi said.
“What we need to do is to build homes and schools, giving locals animals to breed, giving them medical attention, planting, engaging the local community.
“This is all that we need to do with the Fulani herdsmen to get them pipe down and drop their weapons. This is all that we need and we don’t need to wait for the government.”
While noting that criminal activities cannot be justified, the cleric stated that every criminal has a justification for his crimes.
According to him, bandits were out to avenge the killing of their family members by the military through airstrikes.
He believes that once their needs are met, the bandits would drop their weapons and stop the killings in the country.
The Islamic cleric who is a known advocate for bandits recently vowed to stop meeting with them.
Sheikh Gumi had noted that he took the stance following the recent prescription of bandits by an Abuja Federal High Court.