Prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has again renewed his calls for gunmen to be granted amnesty.
According to Gumi, if coup plotters and those that instigated the civil war could be forgiven, he sees no reason why gunmen can’t also be forgiven.
He said, “I see no reason why we can not accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty.
You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.
“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the gunmen can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.
“These people in the bush who have taken arms, they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; the civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we can not accept their repentance.
“Since that is the bottle-neck and it is only the Federal Government that can give them that leverage. And strangely we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.”
On the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) calling for his arrest over a viral video in which he was heard accusing Christian soldiers who instigating crisis in the north, Gumi stated that he was misunderstood and the actual message was manipulated.
He added, “Nigerians should embrace each other and live in peace. We should not try to do anything that will cause havoc. I will also call on the press to desist from sensational reporting because this nation is already in flames.
“You should be very careful in what you report. What you see. Continue reporting responsibly and you should not stir the Christian brethren who are known to be peaceful and law-abiding. We have been together for a long time and nobody can separate us, we should learn to live together in peace.”