How Sheik Gumi's Comment On Bandit Escape May Strengthen Military Action Further

In the ongoing war against banditry in the Northern part of Nigeria, people have naturally taken sides in the affair. While some stand in support of continued military bombardment and assault on the criminals, others, most notably the controversial cleric, Sheik Gumi, have adamantly stood against it, opting for amnesty instead. This is even as the Armed Forces has already stated its intention to kill all the bandits. 

Recall that the military operation in the north against banditry has yielded positive results in recent times. Not only have scores of them been captured, one of their leaders in the person of Turji Kachalla has also been placed under arrest. Despite these successes, it appears that Sheik Gumi still views the whole affair as being more of a nuisance than a solution, since he apparently still believes it is only worsening the problem. 

In one of his latest statements against military action, Sheik Gumi stated that the criminals have already escaped from the states where they are being fought against. He revealed that, over the years, escape routes have been mapped out by the bandits in order to flee should the environment ever get too hot for them - a choice they have since made. 

The cleric went on to say that, due to the alleged absence of the bandits in Zamfara and Katsina states now, the innocent residents are the ones suffering from the continued military action. Additionally, he said that the sustained use of force against the criminals will only cause them to escape more and more into other states. This, he said, will make them spread out even more, making the issue of banditry more difficult to contain than it already is.

While this argument by Sheik Gumi is meant to show how futile the military effort against the bandits is, it can also have the opposite effect of boosting it significantly. By trying to dissuade further attacks on the criminals, the cleric may have unwittingly given the government more information with which to fight them. If, as he said, the bandits have escaped into other states via preplanned routes, soldiers can now be mobilized to counter them.

Photo credit: Deutsche Welle.

Based on this information, moving forward, armed guards can be stationed at strategic positions along state boundaries before engaging the criminals inside. This may not be as easy as it sounds, but it can be done in a bid to capture the bandits as they attempt to flee. The fact that communication was disabled inside Zamfara and Katsina states, along with other security measures, suggests that the war on banditry was an internal one. However, thanks to the details supplied by Sheik Gumi, the military can now widen the scope of its operation and improve upon its tactics.

What do you think about this article? Should the government stop fighting the bandits to prevent them from spreading, or should it continue to do so? Tell us your opinion in the comments and don't forget to like and share the article for others to contribute. 

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