Fulani militants are fighting Ethnic War, says Sheik Gumi
“They have rockets, guns, AK 47 and other weapons. The bandits were more than 100 in that bush” says Hajiya Jumai Isa
By Busola Alao, Kaduna Fulani militants creating havoc in some parts of the country are fighting ‘ethnic war’ and should not be viewed from the prism of mere bandits, a prominent cleric has said. Speaking on Monday in reports monitored by Irohinoodua, the first and leading Pan Yoruba newsonline, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, said the armed groups are committed to the defense of their ethnic identity. Gumi spoke on Channels TV “Politics Today.”
Gumi said “It is a complex issue. It is an ethnic war and the solution is dialogue and teaching them Islam. To them, they are talking about an ethnic existence.” Many see Gumi’s position as opening up facts that the Nigerian state strive to bury. Analysts contend that if they are driven by ethnic preservation, the prospect of attacking other non-Fulani ethnic nationality becomes even more apparent. There is also the question of why the same armed Fulani men are taking over forests that do not belong to them in the context of the defense mechanism provided for them by some top Politicians like the Governor of Bauchi State.
Meanwhile, Hajiya Jumai Isa one of the released kidnapped travelers told journalists on Monday that said she was frightened by the kind of weapons she saw at the camp. She said the armed bandits have acquired sophisticated military weapons.
“They have rockets, guns, AK 47 and other weapons. The bandits were more than 100 in that bush” she said
Gumi also dismissed claims that the armed men are not Nigerians. He said “They are Nigerians. I hate to call them bandits. They are militants fighting for ethnic survival. They want to defend themselves. If there is peace, you will not see such things as banditry, kidnapping among others.
Earlier, Gumi had visited the armed men in Zamfara where he met hundreds of them. He has been preaching peace, urging them to lay down their arms.
On the armed Fulani, he said further “If you are talking about victims, they have more victims on their side than others. To them, they are fighting a war of existence. If you have seen them (herdsmen), you will discover they have nothing like civilization other than the guns they are carrying.
Gumi said he was reaching out to them embrace peace.“We are trying to talk to them to drop their guns. There are peace processes ongoing and they are ready to put down their arms. They are not killing people; they are just engaged in ethnic revenge. The Fulani herdsmen are victims of military excesses. The armed herdsmen are kidnapping to make money.”
Gumi said “When bandits go to a Fulani village, they go in groups and ransack the village just to revenge. It is a form of revenge. It is not because of criminality, it is ethnic revenge.”
According to him “The military knows where they are. When they go in and start killing, the military realize they are creating a monster. The Federal Government should go in and negotiate.”
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