Prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi of Kaduna State has claimed that bandits terrorising the northeast region learnt insurgency from Niger Delta militants.
Gumi who has been in the centre of peace deals that has called on the bandits surrender their arms made the comparison when he featured on Africa Independent Television (AIT) on Tuesday.
The cleric said the amnesty programme given to the Niger Delta militants by the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan administration should be extended to the criminal herders.
He said, “We didn’t take a different route of trying to solve this problem and that is why we are still here today. And when we say amnesty, we don’t mean that anyone proved to be involved in murder should go free as such.
“They learnt kidnapping from MEND. I do not see any difference. They were the first victims of rustling. Their cattle is their oil. What we are seeing now is more of an insurgency than banditry. I can say 10 percent of the herders are criminals not 90 percent, in the end, they took up weapons to protect themselves from extinction.
“They themselves can take care of the little remnants of criminals among themselves because they don’t want anybody to bring mayhem to them.” he said.