Controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, says he has quit mediating for armed bandits following their declaration as terrorists by the court.
Gumi had visited bandits in the forests in Zamfara and Niger states, taken medical services to them and has been urging the Nigerian government to grant them a general amnesty as was done for militants in the Niger Delta.
Before he started his campaign, the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, and his counterparts in Katsina, Aminu Masari, had engaged bandits in their state in dialogue.
But after the approach failed to end the menace, the governors endorsed military actions against the bandits.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Sani, have consistently opposed negotiating with the outlaws.
Gumi had said his efforts in that campaign were for the sake of peace and economic prosperity of Nigeria, but lamented that the efforts have been sabotaged.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of terrorism.
The verdict strengthened the call on the Nigerian government to declare bandits ravaging the North-western and the North-central regions as terrorists.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the grisly activities of ‘bandits’ who have been waging a relentless war against ordinary Nigerians in the North-west and North-central States.
The bandits have been vicious in kidnapping and killing their captives across Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and Sokoto states.