A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has said the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army were yet to locate bandits terrorising Nigerians whereas popular Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi; Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle; and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Masari, hold meetings with the criminals.

Omokri, in a Facebook post on Saturday, said the security agencies instead of neutralising the bandits with fire power, have chosen to go after the operatives of the Eastern Security Network, the paramilitary wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

He wrote, “How is it that Sheikh Gumi can jump into forests in Zamfara and Niger, and locate the whereabouts of bandits and killer herdsmen, but both the HQ Nigerian Army and Nigerian police can’t locate and exterminate them? But they can locate and determine ESN that don’t kill.

“Sheikh Gumi took photos with bandits. Governor Masari held negotiations with them. Governor Matawalle holds meetings with them.

FILE: Sheik Gumi (second from the left) with some of the bandits. Source: @AhmadAbubakarMahmudGumi

“It seems everyone has access to bandits and killer herdsmen, except our Army and Police. Those ones only know how to find and kill ESN!”

‌It had earlier been reported that photos of Gumi meeting with some bandits in a forest in Niger State surfaced online on Friday. He had met them in respect to the abduction of students and members of staff of Government Science College, Kagara. The cleric, who briefed the press later in Minna, had described the meeting with the bandits as “positive”. Gumi had also met with bandits in the forests of Zamfara and some other places after which he sought blanket amnesty for the criminals.

Similarly, Masari and Matawalle, known to have granted amnesty to scores of repentant bandits in their respective states, had reportedly negotiated the release of over 300 schoolboys abducted from Kankara in Katsina last year.

Aside from Kankara and Kagara, non-state actors had also abducted hundreds of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State; and Dapchi in Yobe State. Some of them eventually regained freedom while a number of them were detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.


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