By Ismail Auwal
The Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, has said that bandits killing Nigerians in the north do not deserve amnesty.
Masari, said this while in response to Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, call for amnesty to the bandits, saying that even animals killed deserve justice much less human beings.
Gumi, who is known to have access to the bandits, have continued to demand “blanket amnesty” for them.
In an interview, Masari said the bandits betrayed the government after previous attempts to grant them amnesty.
“Amnesty for who? Look, Gumi is doing it in 2021, we did it in 2016. At least there is something to learn from us,” he was quoted as saying.
“When we started the dialogue in 2016, 95 per cent of the herders living in the forest were not criminals but what is the situation today? Majority of the herders living in the forest today are bandits.”
“Gumi should have been preaching to them on the fear of God; to understand the implications of killing somebody but certainly not amnesty because even animals are not allowed to be killed unjustly let alone human beings. He should also let the bandits know the value of their own religion.”
He added that there is nothing new in what the bandits are demanding but, most importantly, “they are not promoting any ideology.”
“Are we all happy in Nigeria? Does it mean those who are unhappy would take up arms against other people? They (bandits) kept on saying they are being marginalised, how many people are marginalised and neglected in Nigeria today,” the governor asked.
“A thief is a thief and a criminal is a criminal. They are criminally- minded and can’t justify killing innocent souls.”