Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has stated that his dialogues with bandits in Northern Nigeria have been fruitful.
He said: “My interaction with bandits has yielded instant results. When you are dealing with somebody engrossed in criminality, if you approach him as a policeman, you will have a problem but if you come to him as a pastor, he will confess all his sins to you.
“So we approach them as clergy, and they feel comfortable to vomit all their problems. Hence, we see how we can appease and help them.
“We are not approaching them as an authority but from the spiritual angle. You know every human being has that spiritual influence, and that is why we are adopting that,” he said.
He also tackled those urging government to arrest him because of the meetings he holds with bandits.
Describing such people as clowns, Gumi revealed that government officials also attend the meetings with the bandits.
In an interview with an online newspaper, Daily Post, Gumi explained that he’s not the first to hold dialogue with bandits.
He said: “Even the Kaduna State governor dialogued with them, Zamfara governor dialogued with them.
“I am not the first person that started dialoguing with them (bandits). I only added value and I find them to be religious; religion is the only thing that teaches you that blood has sanctity. So this is the religious angle.
“I am trying to gather them and teach them that there is sanctity to life. They cannot kill, rape and so on. This is the addition I hope will work. Note, I never visited these bandits without a government official, but they are in the background.
“All the bandits we met were with government officials, and that is why I said those calling for my arrest are clowns.”