The outspoken Islamic cleric and scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, while confirming that the Nigerian military was aware of the bandits’ hideout, told Channel television network the consequence of not negotiating and giving blanket amnesty to the bandits, and warned that the banditry could morph to Boko-Haram.
“I can say categorically that they [bandits] are not Boko Haram but we have to be very careful because if the pressure is too much, Boko Haram being more international, more connected, may be richer, I am afraid they [bandits] can be influenced by Boko Haram. And we have seen the signs that Boko Haram wants to infiltrate them but so far, they are not Boko Haram, they are ready to lay down their arms.
“There was an incident that happened in Zamfara during the former regime. The Fulani themselves caught some elements of Boko Haram and presented them to the government. So, they are not Boko Haram, they are citizens, they recognize authority and they are ready to lay down their arms and that is why we have to act fast.”