Bandits not foreign Fulani; they’re Nigerians – Prof Usman Yusuf
Former Executive of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf says those blaming foreign Fulani for banditry are wrong.
Usman, who recently accompanied Sheikh Ahmad Gumi on visits to bandits camps in some northern states, said those he saw were indigenous Fulani.
He stated this in an interview published by Saturday Sun while backing Gumi’s call for the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the armed groups.
Recall that the popular cleric had advised FG to grant amnesty to the groups like it did to Niger Delta militants.
Prof Yusuf said his relationship with Sheikh Gumi dated back 45 years back, when they were in medical school together from 1976 to 1982, saying the cleric was never the type to speak carelessly.
He recalled how Sheikh Gumi went into the Nigeria Military Medical Corps, and rose to the rank of captain and resigned and went into what he has always called his first calling – a cleric his father and grandfather.
Prof Yusuf said this journey would take the cleric to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, obtaining a PhD in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence.
He added, “He (Gumi) has always held and preached even long before this that clerics need to go to villages and forests and preach the message of Islam to what you call, the bandits, the Fulani bandits because the basic foundation of any religion is peace and to anchor you in what is right and what is wrong.
“These children are growing up without any religion with the mixture of drugs, with the mixture of poverty and disenfranchisement. Why are we surprised at seeing what we are seeing?
“I know him personally and I know how much he loves this country and I know how pained he is about this insecurity and we discussed that severally.
“We know and we are not denying that these people you call bandits are Fulani like myself; they are not from foreign Fulani as some people are saying. No, they are Fulani here.
“We are against what they are doing – the crimes of kidnapping, rape and killing, all the pains and suffering they are causing our people; we cannot and must not disown them because it is just like if you have a child, he has gone astray, you need to pull him close to you and try and preach to him in the hope that you reach his heart in order for him to change his way.”