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Bandits are fighting war to exist – They’ve killed only few people – 5 takeaways from Sheikh Gumi’s interview

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Kaduna-based Islamic cleric and peace negotiator between the Fulani terrorists and the government, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi has explained his insight into the terrorists acts of the Fulani herders terrorising predominantly the northern region of the country and part of the southwest. 

In his interview on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today monitored by NewsWireNGR, Gumi said the terrorists who he now refers to as militants are victims who took up arms to defend their existence. 

Here are five NewsWireNGR takeaways from the Monday interview:

1. The terrorists are Fulanis of Nigerian origin

2. They however sometimes invite foreign Fulanis for ethnic wars

3. These terrorists have suffered 10x more casualty than anyone in the country

4. The terrorists do not kill – except to avenge killings

5. The military extrajudicial killings of Fulanis caused the violence 

The terrorists are Fulanis of Nigerian origin

“They speak Fulfulde, and they speak Hausa. So we call them the Hausa-Fulani because of the interlacing of the culture and language between the Fulanis and the Hausas. But they are originally Fulanis of Nigeria origin. 

“They are Nigerians, some of them even have parents in towns.”

They however sometimes invite foreign Fulanis for ethnic wars

“Now we are having an ethnic war, the Fulani nomadic feels his existence is threatened so what they do is when they have a war, they call other Fulanis from other countries. Irrespective of where they are, Fulani is Fulani so they go to defend their kinsmen and each one goes back to his community. So that’s when they transit the borders and go back. 

“But if there is calm and there is peace, you will not see this type of encroachment into the nation. And that is why the government must be very proactive in this issue. 

“Let’s go in, let’s educate them, let’s register them, let us do what we do to others so that we don’t have any Nigerian that can be susceptible to be used.”

These terrorists have suffered 10 times more casualty than anyone in the country 

“For every victim of kidnappings you are talking about, you will have ten times victims among themselves (the terrorists). 

“None of us has a victim of the military or lynched in town, do you know that their situation is that anyone with the Fulani physique on a motorbike is automatically arrested and incarcerated. 

“They are fighting war to exist. You can see what happened in Oyo, imagine when he sees his women killed, animals slaughtered, his hut burnt down.

 “Who is burning his hut? Someone who has a car, someone who owns a building, but he doesn’t own a car, he doesn’t own a building; he doesn’t enjoy anything from the Nigerian cake and you are coming to take his animals again.So he sees the evil from the other side.”

They do not kill – except to avenge killings 

“You call them killed herdsmen but how many people do they kill? When they kill, most times it is accidental but they have only killed few people. 

“The time they kill is when they are fighting an ethnic war. Maybe a nomadic man was killed or lynched in that village, so they come in groups and ransack the village. Not to steal just to revenge. And this is their mode of defence – instilling fear. 

“In fact, you will see that they pass many villages and go to the one that attacked them.”

The military extrajudicial killings of Fulanis caused the violence 

“All of them that stood say we are fighting because people are killed and it is the military that is doing that. 

“A soldier came to me in 2014, 21st June on a Friday. He said they have been sent to fight cattle rustlers but he mentioned officers that were killing communities of Fulanis. 

“He himself he said he has seen more than 300 men, women, children of Fulanis killed by Nigeria military. 

“The bandits told us that when the military came to fight to fight the rustlers, they were happy but when they came, they killed everybody.”

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