Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has advised that bandits should not be referred to as criminals if Nigerians want them to put down their weapons.
Gumi said the bandits should be treated with nice words and made to see that they are Nigerians and also part of the society.
The cleric who has been meeting with bandits and seeking to end their activities gave the advice during an interview with Arise TV.
He said, “Even the press are criminals too because they are putting oil into fire. These people are listening to you. You don’t address them as criminals if you want them to succumb. Youths are ready to put down their weapons. Now, they hear you calling them criminals, how do you want them to cooperate?
“When we talk to them with nice wordings, they are ready to put their weapons down, they are ready to listen to us. But when the language is about criminality, about kill them, jail them, then this is what we end up having.”
Gumi stated that the issue has become a nationwide problem, pointing out that a group in the Niger Delta has started agitation.