Kaduna based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has said lack of religion, knowledge and enlightenment on the part of the Fulani herdsmen was the cause of insecurity in the country.
The scholar, who said too much blood was flowing in Nigeria unnecessarily and nothing was being done to end it, said enlightenment was the cure.
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Gumi spoke at a peace conference organised by the Center for the Advancement of Human Dignity and Value (CAHDV) in Kaduna Thursday,
He has in recent times come under criticism for seeking amnesty for insurgents and bandits as a way to end insecurity in the country.
But Gumi said killings and kidnappings by the bandits could only be stopped by hijacking them from the evil arms and drug dealers controlling them.
According to him, the government had in the last three years spent $1bn in fighting banditry and requires another $1bn to continue the fight when 10 per cent of that amount can be used to enlighten the bandits and stop the killings and kidnappings.
“I realised one thing, lack of religion, lack of knowledge and ignorance is the cause of insecurity; enlightenment is the cure. When you enlighten them you can cure them, when you want to cure the problem the way it was created, you go into bloodshed and this is exactly what we are witnessing now.
“What we see today is lack of civilisation. Too much blood is flowing in Nigeria unnecessarily and we have not yet understood the human dignity and value – both the leading and the led. Man has value and dignity; you cannot force your religion on anybody. Why is blood flowing too much in the country?”
Gumi said when he visited the bandits in the forest, the first step was to use psychology on them and they aired their grievances and were ready to change.
He added that the herdsmen were hijacked by evil people , drug addicts and gunrunners.
Gumi said under the Nigerian Constitution, people were guaranteed equity and justice and free to choose their religion, adding that there was no compulsion in religion.
Earlier in his address, the president of CAHDV, Joseph John Ameh, called on Nigerians to live harmoniously and stop killings and kidnappings.
The Director, Arewa House Kaduna, Dr. Shuibu Shehu Aliyu, added that selfish political elite were using religious leaders to cause insecurity in the society.