Self-mediator for bandits, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, says he has spoken to many bandits and they have agreed to lay down their weapons and embrace education.
The Kaduna State-based controversial Islamic cleric, stated this while speaking to journalists during an inspection visit to the Sheikh Uthman Bin Fodio Centre at Kagarko Grazing Reserve Kohoto Village, donated by Sultan Bello Mosque Foundation on Monday.
The Islamic scholar who has been at the forefront of advocating negotiations for the bandits said the government should spend billions on building schools for the gunmen instead of spending it on security hardware.
He also has refuted allegations credited to him that declaring bandits as terrorists would end Nigeria, saying he was quoted out of context.
The cleric explained that ninety-nine percent of herdsmen are not involved in banditry and if the state now says all herdsmen are terrorists; Nigeria will have problems all over.
Speaking on the school, he said the centre contains six classrooms, which would be engaged for 24 hours daily.
“The herdsmen take cattle for grazing in the morning, come back and study in the evening. Before then, we would run primary and secondary schools at intervals.
“We have a hospital also at the centre as well as an economic booster on showing them how to feed their animals.
“If we can replicate this everywhere, Nigeria will be in peace,” he submitted,” he said
In his remarks, the Fulani Chief of the community, Ardo Ahmed Tahiru said they are excited about the project.
Also speaking, Imam Tafa Dahiru noted that the project has united the community and they are all full of joy.
Similarly, a Christian cleric in the community, Luka Mai Ungwar commended Sheikh Gumi for the gesture, saying that he is delighted that their children don’t need to travel far before going to school.