“Bandits always want big money, can’t repent” – El-Rufai tells Sheikh Gumi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says it is unwise to negotiate with bandits because they cannot repent.

He said the bandits were already used to big money, noting that the only viable option was to meet them with brute force.

The Kaduna governor stated this in a BBC Hausa interview while responding to Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who advised the government to hold discussions with the bandits.

The respected cleric had visited Tubali and Makkai forests in Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara, where he met the bandit leaders and appealed for calm.

Shortly afterwards, he met Zamfara Governor, Bello Matawalle.

Expressing astonishment at what he saw when he visited the bandits, Sheikh Gumi said the state was experiencing insurgency and not banditry as generally believed.

According to him, dialogue remains the best way to end the security challenge.

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Reacting to the cleric’s comment, El-Rufai said his administration would not negotiate with the bandits, warning that anyone of them arrested would be put to death.

“My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry.

“I never believed that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and is collecting millions of naira as ransom will repent. I spoke to Dr Gumi, who is my friend. I explained that majority of these bandits don’t believe in the religion. That is why they kill mercilessly.

‎”Anybody who thinks a Fulani herdsman that was used to only getting N100,000 in a year after selling a cow, but now is getting millions through kidnapping for ransom will stop, is only wasting his time,” El-Rufai said.

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