Controversial Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has said bandits terrorising the country love those who show them respect and understanding.
According to People’s Gazette, Gumi said this while fielding questions from students during a lecture at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Wednesday.
The cleric who has been visiting the gunmen in the forest in an attempt to negotiate a peace deal with them says his interaction with them have been easy because he always “goes through the door.”
“I go through the door, not the window. If you go through the door, you will go in and come back safely,” he said.
Gumi said if the bandits were given a listening ear, their resolve would be softened and would become more amenable to abandoning their violent ways.
When asked why the bandits had not kidnapped him despite his numerous visits to their den, Gumi said, “When we meet them, we don’t speak, we give them the microphone to speak even for one hour. When we first approached them, we saw that they were holding their warrant, ready to fire. By the time we finish our meeting, they will hand in their weapons and we will be taking pictures.
“So this is the power of human interaction which is what we are here to study as social scientists. That is the approach.”
The preacher said he had been able to gain the bandits’ sympathy because he “treats them as human beings and respects them.”
“That is the respect I give them. I say come, come and sit with me. Come and sit down. I want to hear from you. With that respect, the Fulani man, you can get him.
“So don’t be surprised, if you are nice to him, if you are ready to listen to him, if you are trying to understand his problem, if you put your legs in his own shoes, he will listen to you, you will go to the forest and return safely insha Allahu,” Gumi assured.