The popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, as ‘Urban bandits‘.

A renowned Islamic cleric said the presidential spokesman is one of the highly placed and influential politicians that sabotaged his efforts at negotiating with the bandits to restore peace in affected areas.

On Thursday, Femi Adesina wrote an article against the Gumi, accused the cleric of being a bandit-lover.

Adesina attacked Gumi for calling for amnesty for the bandits, explaining that the criminals have missed the chance to repent and the offensive by the military against them won’t stop until they are destroyed.

Adesina made the submission in an opinion article “I like this pampering. Don’t you?” which he posted on his Facebook page on Thursday night.

The article while praising the gallant efforts of the Nigerian military and other security agencies in the fight against insecurity also countered an earlier submission by Gumi that the bandits are going nowhere.

On Monday, Gumi had claimed that the bandit terrorists in the northern region of Nigeria are going nowhere.

The controversial cleric made this claim in a post on his Facebook page on Monday.

Gumi titled the post, ‘Zamfara: The Flaring Of Crisis’, military action against criminal herdsmen and bandits will not solve the security challenge, but “will only worsen the situation”.

The cleric stated this while reacting to a recent victory recorded by the military over bandit terrorists in Zamfara forests.

He noted that the bandit terrorists are going nowhere and the action of the military will only worsen the situation in the northern part of the country.

But Adesina in his response said the criminals have missed the chance to repent and the offensive by the military won’t stop until the criminals are destroyed.

Before they got to this sorry pass, they had the chance to turn a new leaf. Zamfara, Katsina, and many other states offered dialogue. The governments tried to negotiate with them. But they were contumacious. Like dogs fated for destruction, they refused to hear the hunters’ whistle. They filled the land with sorrow, tears and blood, ‘dem regular trademark’ (as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would say). Now, the shoe is on the other foot,” Adesina stated.

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In the different evil forests, when the Nigerian Air Force strikes from the sky, the remnants of the evildoers not killed immediately attempt to flee.

The ground troops then pick them off like flies. I say it again. One has never been prouder of our troops. They are cleaning up the country.

Shocking and disconcerting, however, that in the middle of all these, you still hear words meant to discourage our gallant soldiers.

A bandit-lover is on record as saying military offensive would not work, and that the bandits “are going nowhere.” True? False. They are going somewhere. And that is: hell.”

He added that though the battle has not been completely won, considerable progress has been made and should be appreciated.

He said: “Dr Okolo Oteri Eme is one of the women who love Buhari. To bits.

She plays prominently on Facebook, and I love what she posted this week on the pounding the evil people have been getting: “Those who claim bandits are being pampered can join them for Shawarma in Zamfara. Kudos to our troops.”  

It’s the promise made, and promise being kept by our President. He said those who trouble the country would be spoken to in the language they understand. It is happening now.

The job is not fully done yet, but progress is fast and laudable. And the message is loud and clear. Don’t you like it?  

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi fired back at the presidential spokesperson over his submission on the cleric’s alleged relationship with bandits terrorizing the country.

The cleric who insisted that he knows and fully understands what he is doing and saying as regards the activities of bandit terrorists in Nigeria said some highly placed persons benefitting from insecurity are the ones blocking the results of his efforts.

Gumi observed that his efforts at negotiating with the bandits to restore peace in affected areas is been sabotaged by highly placed and influential persons/politicians whom he described as “urban bandits.”

The cleric made the submission on Friday morning via a post on his Facebook page titled ‘war has never been a solution anywhere anytime.’  

The post comes as a direct response to Thursday night’s article against him by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina who accused the cleric of being a bandit-lover.

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Gumi however warned again in his latest piece that war can’t bring the full solution to the activities of the bandit terrorists, saying the bandits have developed new strategies to escape airstrikes from the Nigerian military.

You bootlicker that called me a bandit-lover! I am not one, but my country-lover, my region-lover, my state-lover, and my people-lover, and humanity-lover.  

“I am a qualified Medical Doctor who knows what it takes to precisely excise a brain tumour without destroying the delicate surrounding brain tissues.

I was a commissioned military officer who knows what the military is for and what is the capability of our military. I am an intellectual with a Ph.D. from abroad. I am an Islamic scholar who knows the immorality of killing innocent lives.

So, silence for me in this ocean of oblivion is not an option.  

“Only a fool would allow his dwelling to be a theatre of war.

Unfortunately, how many fools are there. Killing rats in your rat-infested sitting room with an iron rod will only end up destroying your gadgets and furniture probably without killing any.

We should not mask out poor governance with artillery power.  

“Some disingenuous people say: peace and negotiations with herdsmen bandits have failed, and your mission has failed!  

“I said my mission has not failed but it was sabotaged or discouraged by the same influential people that benefit from the chaos or like us to destroy ourselves and leave the herdsmen in perpetual ignorance.  

Some said we have tried amnesty but it didn’t work. You didn’t try amnesty but tried amnesia.

Amnesty without rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation is no amnesty.

Ask the former Niger Delta Militants who killed security men in the past what an amnesty is. What stops us from having a federal ministry of Nomadic Affairs where their grievances and complaints will be addressed?  

All the bandit leaders we saw complained of how some repentant ones were picked and extra-judicially killed after the surrender of their weapons. Without their trust of the very unjust system all Nigerians complain of, which they took arms to fight, peace and negotiations with them will not work. This brings our role of mediation.

They know as religious men we will not deceive them, and they came out in troops to meet us.

To our astonishment, it is the same unjust system that turns round to betray our peace mission. Some of the press for giving a negative narrative, whom I also term criminals-in-purpose, some of the politicians who I see as urban-bandits who out of their share mismanagement of our meagre resources and misplacement of priority cause the death and infirmity of more people than the bandits affect.

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Of recent, how many Nigerians die of cholera -a water-born disease- because of lack of simple clean water to drink, or typhoid, malaria, and malnutrition?

A nation with a maternal mortality rate of almost 500000/annum because of the lack of adequate maternal health facilities and qualified staff.

A country where its highly-priced medical personnel is looking for a window to escape the inferno. Such a country, please!

By the way, what you may not hear, is that the bandits over the years have developed escape routes from aerial bombardments. They told us: you can only kill our women and children with your attacks!  

Just yesterday, two contingents of banditry victims came to me that their loved ones were abducted by bandits in Kaduna suburbs – Rigachukun and Keke. An escapee engineer in the later said, when he overheard and understood that they were strangers in the area as they were calling the locals to lead them, that gave him the courage to slip through densely grown maize plantations to escape.

The point is that, if Zamfara is on fire for them, definitely it goes without saying that they will migrate to other areas. So, is the whole of Nigeria going to be under lock-up in incommunicado?

“As for the economic impact of the areas now under siege, it’s just a matter of time, you’ll hear them crying out. Already yesterday a man from Tsafe came begging because of economic stagnation, one would have thought that Gusau the capital is closer than Kaduna to beg.  

As for those cynics that have no value to add in the dilemma except vituperation, and abuses, we know that is the substance they are made up of. No qualms whatsoever! you don’t expect fragrance from feces.  

So, what is the solution?   “Good Intelligence! Good proficient policing, engagement of the local herdsmen in policing, rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation of all victims of banditry. The good honest judiciary that protects people’s rights. Money and time well spent on these will surely kill the disease and heal the nation of this delinquency, crimes, and bad governance.  

“Oh Allah! on Your Mercy we depend”.

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