In continuation of his efforts to take the message of Islam to armed Fulani bandits and to explore dialogue as the only means of addressing the uprising associated with killings and kidnappings, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi has accepted the invitation of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.
The invitation coincidentally came at a time when double tragedy has befallen the state; first with the abduction of over 30 passengers in a bus belonging to the state transport service and the latest kidnapping of school children and their teachers in Kagara. Niger State has suffered most worst bandits attacks in the last three years.
On arrival at the state capital, Sheikh Gumi had gone into a close-door meeting with his host, Governor Bello. DESERT HERALD reports that during the brief meeting on Wednesday, Sheikh Gumi had emphasized to the Governor the importance of dialogue especially in a society where government did not have the capacity to fully protect lives and properties from incessant attacks. He advised Governor Bello to use part of the money his government is spending on security to address some of the major concerns and grievances of the Fulani herdsmen. Governor Bello had thank Sheikh Gumi for the visit and for his endless sacrifices across the country. He said having tried the military option alone without commensurate success, he is now convinced more than ever before that dialogue and teaching the armed Fulanis about their religion and integrating them into the society as the Sheikh always admonishes government is the only way to address rampant cases of insecurity particularly in his state. Governor Bello told Gumi that his administration is ready for constructive engagement and dialogue with the armed Fulanis and acknowledged that over the years Fulani herdsmen were forgotten by governments at all levels and that there has never been any provision in previous budgets for their welfare in the past. Both Gumi and Governor Governor Bello are in total agreement that given out ransom to the rampaging herdsmen is not the option and that government will resist it and that instead provision of basic amenities like schools, water for human and animal consumption, clinics and job creation will be prioritised for them.