Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has slammed Nigerians who are calling on the Federal Government to arrest him for allegedly sponsoring and supporting the bandits.
During an interview with Premium Times, Sheikh Gumi described his critics as “clowns” saying that he had also been a victim of the bandits on several occasions.
According to him, his relative who was a private soldier was killed by bandits, adding that he also had to pay ransom to secure the release of his senior brother was kidnapped by bandits.
When asked to react to those clamoring for his arrest for making cases for bandits and for visiting them in their forest conclave, Sheikh Gumi said:
“They are clowns, they don’t know anything about the Nigerian society, they don’t know about the Nigerian constitution and liberty. It is a constitutional right for someone to express his views, so long you are not calling for violence or to harm anybody.
“These people calling for my arrest, I don’t see them different from the bandits. To say that I am supporting or sponsoring bandits is malicious.
“I am just trying to cure them in my own way. I am trying to prevent it my own way and I have seen how my little efforts have helped.
“I just have a different perspective in addressing the issue. But to encourage them? No. To help them? No. It is impossible. I am also a victim of banditry.
“My senior brother was kidnapped; we had to pay a ransom. Also in our mosque, we have paid ransom. Even now, somebody is asking me to assist him to pay ransom.
“Our family driver who happens to be our relative, his son, a private soldier, was killed by bandits. So how I can support such people?
This comes a few days after Sheikh Gumi disassociated himself from armed bandits following their declaration as terrorists by the Federal High Court in Abuja.