The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has kicked against Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s intervention on the banditry activities in the northwest.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today which aired on Wednesday, Masari challenged the Islamic cleric to a debate.
“Was he there? What did he know about what we did in Kaduna? I challenge Gumi to come and tell us if he knows what we did in Kaduna,” the governor said in reaction to Gumi’s stance on how the state government is handling banditry.
“The stories they are telling him are the stories they said in 2015, the same story in 2019. What does he know about the forest? Is he victimizing killings?”
When asked if he is in support of the cleric’s intervention to governors of the north-western states, Masari replied in the negative.
While faulting Gumi’s suggestion to the state governments, the governor said the bandits needed moral and spiritual support to realise the evil perpetrated by killing people.
“I don’t support Sheikh Gumi’s intervention because he did not do it rightly. I expect him to, first of all, preach to them (the bandits), the implication of killing innocent people and also the implication of abducting people and its consequences. That is what I expect a clergyman first and foremost to do,” the governor added.
Speaking further, Masari who is also the Chairman of the North-west Governors’ Forum, said he strongly opposes the idea of granting blanket amnesty to the bandits.
The governor’s remarks come a month after Gumi said Fulani herdsmen involved in banditry are victims of circumstance.
Gumi who spoke during an exclusive interview on February 22 told Channels Television that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing the crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.