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Controversial Islamic cleric and self-acclaimed bandits negotiator, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, on Monday, warned the Nigerian government that military onslaught on bandits in Zamfara State and other parts of Nigeria may turn the country into Afghanistan.

In a recent statement on his Facebook timeline which he titled 'Zamfara: The flaring crisis,' he urged the federal government to apply easier measures in handling the bandits to avoid "pushing them towards religion fanaticism" adding that previous excessive attacks on bandits have only worsened the case rather than curbing or ending bandits war against Nigeria. 

“Any more action will push them closer to religious fanaticism. It gives them protection from discrediting them as thieves and also reinforces their mobilisation of gullible young unemployed youth as we saw with Boko Haram.

“These measures I enumerated are cheaper, easier, and lasting than the kinetic approach which is now taking place. No military, especially of a poor economy, can win guerrilla warfare. The recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a factual warning for those that contemplate this.”

“With their acquisition of weapons, they realised how easy it became to be masters of their abode; the forest, where no authority can venture into. This has emboldened them to further attack people for more ransoms to sustain their newfound reality.

“Now, with the prodding of the government to take more military actions of an already ugly situation whereby they were left to amass weapons, a huge military budget that is almost draining the economy to a standstill in the purchase of fighter aircrafts and conducting military operations in the region has become to the authorities, in their calculations, a necessity.”

“Unfortunately, this is no solution or wisdom. When you don’t have the monopoly of the instruments of violence, then dialogue has the monopoly of resolving the conflict.

He, however, suggest the Nigerian government apply the United Nations method of resolving such crisis through dialogue.

“This is what the UN is all about; roundtable resolution of conflicts. What we are seeing is more than just criminals and criminality. Yes, it may have started as such but like any conflict, it is dynamic.”

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