By Henry Okonkwo
Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has explained why he calls on the government to embrace dialoguing with herdsmen and grant them amnesty, instead of using military attacks on them.
Sheikh Gumi in a statement posted on Sunday via his Facebook page called on the government to explore building schools, that would bring enlightenment to the rural dwellers in the North.
The cleric alongside the post also uploaded a two minutes video clip on how a school project brought relief to a herdsmen community.
Gumi insisted that education remains the key way to prevent herdsmen from going into criminal activities.
The post read, The Way To End Crimes Among Herdsmen.
“In the package it means building schools for them and their children to rehabilitate them and prevent their children from joining the banditry as a way of life, it is called mopping out the pool from which criminals get their foot soldiers.
“Seven months ago, in early February I was in Janjala forest of Kagarko to visit Herdsmen to encourage them to resist and fight back against the bad eggs among them and also put the foundation stone of a school/centre for them.
“The response was spontaneous, even before the school was erected, they have started lessons under the sun waiting for it to be completed.
“Today, with the roofing in place, they have moved into the school even without plaster, electrical fittings, ceilings, tiles, and painting to continue their lessons.
“So far about 600 students were enrolled out of which 150 are married women.
“This is how a society is transformed and redirected. They have now tested the sweetness of knowledge and have seen the value of education. They cannot be recruited any more to commit crimes as they are looking forward to a brighter future of respect and dignity.
“Imagine if we have these kinds of centres all over the forest in different states, in no time, the bad eggs will have no ‘justification’ for committing crimes.
“This is a practical example for people to emulate and governments to listen to.
“May Allah continue to guide us and bring peace and tranquillity to our nation. Amin”