SHEIKH GUMI CONTINUES TO INSIST THAT BANDITS SHOULD NOT BE CALLED CRIMINALS
Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Gumi, has once again condemned the tagging of bandits as criminals.
In an interview with Tribune, Sheik Gumi said during the tenure of late President Musa Yar’Adua, a peace treaty was held between the government and Niger Delta warriors and the warriors were tagged as militants and not criminals.
He said to him, they were branded as militants to justify what they were doing. He went on to say that bandits shouldn’t be tagged as criminals as such derogatory words used to describe them will not help in the peace process.
Reacting to his recent comment on Arise TV where he said journalists are also criminals for describing bandits as criminals, Sheik Gumi said
”I was trying to emphasise that bandits are criminals. They are committing criminality. Kidnap is criminality. Rape is criminality. But I said don’t refer to them as criminals. Why? If you recall, there was a peace treaty between the late President Umaru Musa and the Niger Delta warriors. Were they called criminals? No! They were called militants.
To me, the word, militants given to them was rather to justify what they were doing. So, bandits shouldn’t be branded as criminals too. Don’t call the bandits terrorists or label them with derogatory adjectives because we want them to come to negotiating table. If you keep calling them criminals, you are not encouraging the peace process. If you as a journalist, you are putting oil in the fire.