Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, has met with some suspected bandits in the forests of Zamfara state, appealing for calm.
According to the PUNCH, Gumi visited Tubali and Makkai forests in Shinkafi local government area of the state.
The cleric while suing for peace reportedly preached Islam to the gunmen in an effort to reduce kidnapping and banditry in the area.
Gumi reportedly told the bandits that they have legitimate concerns and that the federal government should look into ways of providing “reasonable” means of livelihood for them.
“Let there be peace,” the cleric said.
“You all have a legitimate concern and grievances, and I believe that since the Niger Delta armed militants were integrated by the federal government and are even in the business of pipeline protection.
“The federal government should immediately look into how something like that will be done to the Fulani to provide them with reasonable means of livelihood including jobs, working capitals, entrepreneurship training, building clinics and schools.”
One of the bandits identified as Bello was reported to have said the government should stop the “unlawful” killing of their loved ones.
“Let the killings of our loved ones by security agents without due process of the law stop, as well as cattle rustling that denied most of us legitimate means of livelihood,” he said.
This is not the first time Gumi will meet with suspected bandits to broker a peace deal.
About three weeks ago, over 500 bandits reportedly agreed to lay down their weapons in Kaduna after he struck a peace deal with them.