It’s ridiculous to compare N’Delta militants with herdsmen – PANDEF replies Sheikh Gumi

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The spokesman for the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Mr Ken Robinson, has faulted popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi for urging the government to grant amnesty to Fulani herdsmen and bandits like it did Niger Delta militants.

Gumi spoke last week after visiting bandit leaders in Tubali and Makkai forests in the Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, urging them to sheath their swords.

The cleric also described the security challenge in the state as insurgency and not banditry.

“You all have a legitimate concern and grievances, and I believe that since the Niger Delta armed militants were integrated by the Federal Government and are even in the business of pipeline protection, the Federal Government should immediately look into how something like that will be done to the Fulani to provide them with reasonable means of livelihood including jobs, working capitals, entrepreneurship training, building clinics and schools,” Gumi was quoted to have said.

Reacting, Robinson said that Niger Delta militants should not be compared to Fulani herdsmen and bandits because the former did not kill people during their agitation for better conditions for their region.

The PANDEF spokesman described Gumi’s comparison as “ridiculous”.

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“It is ridiculous to compare what killer herdsmen and bandits are doing to what Niger Delta militants did. The Niger Delta militants were not destroying and killing people. They were not plundering cities and livelihoods. They were only protesting against the neglect of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the IOCs.

“They were not going about killing innocent people. What is happening in the North-West is purely criminal and those people should be treated as criminals. We totally condemn that comparison by Sheik Gumi; it is ridiculous and should be ignored,” The Punch quoted Robinson as saying.

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