Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, has consistently been in the news for some weeks now, first with his recent meeting with bandits and second, standing in as the mediator in the event of a recent kidnap of secondary school pupils in Niger State.
How Gumi easily locates hideouts of the criminals to hold court and negotiate on behalf of the federal government while the Nigerian military has been unable to find them will continue to beat the imaginations of many and confound many more.
Although debates on whether or not Gumi is a part of the racket is arguable, that the north is not speaking with one voice on the matter is the real cause for concern, because as it is, banditry is the new industry – very lucrative – and not going away any time soon.
…Mohammed’s Late and Bad PR
After publicly rationalising the bearing of arms by herders, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has spent the last few days interpreting his own conviction in a make-good move, none of which has yet made any sense.
Even in an advertorial by the state, where a futile effort was made, it was obvious they were conflicted and therefore struggled with a new narrative that refused to fly.
However, from Mohammed to his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Sani Bello, it’s obvious banditry is the biggest racket in town now with a seemingly impenetrable ring of some untouchables, which makes it the more disturbing.