December 4, 2023
Abuja, NG 25 C

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‘Don’t Compare Blood Sucking Bandits To Real Niger Delta Agitators’ – Edwin Clark Knocks Gumi, Yerima

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The leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Pa Edwin Clark, had knocked Islamic cleric Ahmed Gumi and former Zamfara State governor Ahmed Sani Yerima for their call for an amnesty program for what he calls “blood-sucking bandits in the north.”

According to the elder statesman, bandits from the North can not be compared with legitimate demands of agitators of the South-South region.

He said equating the Amnesty program in the South-South region with the calls for amnesty for bandits and terrorists in the northern area is criminal, we gathered.

Clark told pressmen on Wednesday at his Asokoro residence, Abuja, that “My first reaction to those who compare the murderous blood-sucking bandits from the northern part of the country with the legitimate agitators from the Niger Delta is that of pity at their ignorance on national affairs and mysticism.

“At this juncture, with the kind permission of a newspaper recent editorial, where it says: ’Like others before him, Yerima is confusing two contemporary security issues– blatant criminality by the bandits in the north, and agitation over oil resources in Niger Delta’.

“Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic cleric, has repeatedly pleaded for amnesty for the bandits. He constantly defies logic by claiming that the bandits kill because of their ‘maltreatment’ by the Nigerian state. The amnesty advocates ignore the fact that many of the bandits are not even Nigerians.

“They also mistake amnesty for a blanket idea, to be politicized or invoked to reward mass murderers. It is not. Amnesty worked in the Niger Delta primarily because its militants anchored their fight on the sound economic and federalist principle of resource control. With their people alienated from the oil wealth extracted from their land, and the environmental despoliation in the region, the agitators had legitimate demands.

“But the blood-thirsty bandits ravaging the north have no legitimate, political, or economic claim that Nigeria is obliged to countenance. Because of the bandits, killer Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram/ISWAP/Ansaru, and IPOB, the 2023 Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria as the eighth most terrorized country in the world.

“Together, these terrorist groups slaughtered 63,111 Nigerians between 2015 and May 2023, the National Security Tracker estimated. Therefore, any deal with them translates to rewarding mindless criminality. As some North-West states discovered, negotiating with amorphous groups of bandits with no central command or leadership has no positive outcome.

“I must commend the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, for their forthrightness in condemning the advice of Ahmed Yerima to President Bola Tinubu in which he said the President should grant amnesty to the murderous bandits.

“I also commend some very prominent and reasoning northern Nigerians who also condemned the advice of Ahmed Yerima to Mr. President.”

Recall that the former governor had recently advocated amnesty for bandits terrorizing Nigeria’s northwest.

He had suggested they be given amnesty just like amnesty was granted Niger Delta militants.

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