A report by SBM Intelligence, Nigeria’s geopolitical intelligence platform, has stated that the peace deal initiated by a renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, with bandits may fail.
Recall that Gumi had visited bandits camp to spread the message of Islam and peace to the Fulani herdsmen and rid the country of kidnappings and banditry.
The renowned scholar and his entourage were said to have first gone to the forest of Tubali and Makkai in Shinkafi LGA which were under the control of armed Fulani herdsmen.
But SBM, in a report, noted that Gumi will face challenges in his move to restore peace and end the violence in the northern communities.
The report also noted that “Sheikh Gumi’s closeness to Atiku Abubakar, a key opposition figure” may also affect his ability to get the federal government to meet the demands of the armed groups.
“Despite the silence from the Federal Government over Mr Gumi’s recent actions, the domestic intelligence service is believed to have given a quiet ‘go-ahead’ for the mission to proceed,” the report reads.
“The Sheikh will face challenges in his attempt to pacify armed groups and end the violence, because he lacks the powers to make or keep promises, agree or encourage ceasefire in exchange for a halt to airstrikes and other military actions or address the grievances mentioned as drivers of the lawlessness.
“Sheikh Gumi’s closeness to Atiku Abubakar, a key opposition figure, may also affect his ability to get the Federal Government to meet the demands of armed groups and Fulani communities in the region. Already, some people are asking questions about his connection with the bandits.”
The report stated that when Gumi asked Kachalla Turji, the leader of a banditry group operating along the Shinkafi-Sokoto axis, whether the earlier promises were kept by Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, Turji said only one out of 10 promises was fulfilled.
“However, part of the reason for the breakdown in peace deals may also be connected to failed promises on the part of the government. At the meeting with Mr Gumi, Kachalla Turji, the leader of a banditry group operating along the Shinkafi-Sokoto axis, made reference to a string of broken promises by the government,” the report noted.
“Remember our negotiation with the Zamfara state governor. Among the ten promises I had in person with the governor, how many were fulfilled? Just one, which is a borehole. After that, no other thing was done,” the cleric was quoted to have said.