Islamic scholars, Ahmad Gumi said the bandits would not release their arms if they were not sure of their safety and rehabilitation.
Gumi said this on Wednesday, March 24, during a virtual event organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democrats.
The meeting was held to discuss Nigerian security challenges.
Speaking, the cleric said he saw no reason why the government should not have dialogue with bandits who were willing to negotiate.
“Nobody can justify criminality, what we are saying is what we saw in the forest is an ethnic war going on between people in the forest and the neighboring villages and hamlets. When the herder felt he has grievances and nobody was listening to him, he took on weapons.
“So when we went there and they saw a listening ear, they were ready to negotiate, tell us their grievances, and ready to incorporate into the society. So in such a case, I see no reason why we should not have a dialogue with them.”
According to The Cable, the cleric added that if they are not shown that they’ll be safe when reintegrated into the society, they will continue to carry arms.
Ulama further states that they must be given amnesty in the same way as militant Delta Niger given amnesty.
He said: “Seeing their education status, they do not have official or unofficial education. How a serious nation about security leaving some of the people so uneducated, submit it to the arms and drugs? I do not think that the community is serious. How can we dissolve They, rehabilitate them because they hold weapons to protect themselves.
“If you do not show them that they are safe in a larger society, it is impossible for them to leave their weapons. And that’s why we asked for amnesty to them as we had in Delta Niger.
“I didn’t justify their kidnapping, what they did was crime. But their kidnapping is to get more money to buy more weapons so they can protect themselves.”