The Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, has condemned Sheikh Abubakar Gunmi’s negotiations with the bandits who have been involving in a series of attacks in the country.
While expressing his view on the relationship of Sheikh Abubakar Gumi with the bandits, Oloyede, who is also the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, stated that he would not agree to negotiating with the bandits.
He said, “Negotiating With gunmen will encourage banditry.”
It would be recalled that the renowned Islamic scholar, Gumi, advised state governors to use security votes to provide amenities for repentant bandits.
The Registrar, who recently condemned the negotiation with bandits in an interview with the Punch Newspaper, said, “I will not agree to negotiating with bandits because it would encourage such a thing. But my own opinion does not matter. Why I am saying so is that I don’t pray to ever become a governor but assuming I am a governor today, facts available to me in the office will compel me on decision to take.
“So since the governors are not mad, I would want to concede to them that probably they saw what we did not see. But to me as a person who is not in that position, it does not make sense to me.”
He added, “There is a difference between criminality and civil rights agitation. To me, what I believe they were doing with the people of the South-South who felt that they have a right that were being trampled upon-that petrol is coming from them and they were not getting enough- is to create something to remedy whatever infractions the nation might have committed against them; it is sort of reparation.
“But for somebody to stand up, kill people, rape people and then say we can negotiate and give them money not to do those things, to me, it doesn’t make sense; it encourages banditry.”
Answering a question on how Muslims and Christians can live together amicably, Oloyede responded, “They can live together if they are sincere and have genuine intention to coexist. If it is a matter of tolerance, from the word ‘tolerance’ you will know what it means. If it is a matter of I am just tolerating you, it means if I have the opportunity I will not allow you to exist.
“God, out of His own knowledge, wants us to be a pluralistic society and that is what we are. So nobody should be under any illusion that he can convert the nation to a Christian or a Muslim community.
“The earlier we realise that we have to coexist with justice and equity, the better for all of us.”