Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, prominent Islamic cleric, says bandits should be granted amnesty since those who caused the death of millions during the civil war were pardoned.
Gumi said this in response to a statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The association berated the Islamic cleric for alleging that Christian soldiers were behind the attacks on bandits.
But speaking in Kaduna on Thursday, Gumi said granting amnesty to the bandits will bring peace to the country.
“Even those that instigated the civil war, the civil war that millions of people died [in], were pardoned. I see no reason why we cannot accept their [bandits] repentance and give them amnesty,” The PUNCH quoted him as saying.
“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 bandits 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.
“Since that is the bottleneck and it is only the federal government that can give them that leverage. Strangely, we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling.”
In the past few weeks, Gumi has been making attempts to broker a peace deal with bandits and calling on the federal government to grant them amnesty.