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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 7 September 2021


Sharia failure birthed banditry in Zamfara - Gumi claims

Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi

Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has said that the failure of Sharia law is responsible for banditry in Zamfara State.
Gumi posted on his Facebook page, yesterday, that military action would not stop the herdsmen terrorising the North West region, but the active engagement of the authorities with bandits.

In the post entitled ‘Zamfara: The Flaring Of Crisis’, the cleric said that military action against criminal herdsmen would only worsen the situation.

Citing the recent ‘victory’ of the Taliban in Afghanistan as a warning for those that contemplate force, he argued that conflict could be resolved by active engagement of the government with the agitator.
The post reads: “Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.

“Zamfara State is unique in many aspects. In the wake of 2000AD, the state ignited a wildfire of constitutional amendments that accommodated the application of Sharia law beyond personal law (that is marriages, divorce, and inheritance) to include the Islamic criminal law. It was well received by the local populace, with 11 other northern states adopting it.”

He alleged that the international community with leaders that promote sodomy and lesbianism in the garb of secularism were at the forefront of fighting the Sharia law.
“If such Sharia implementation had concentrated in literacy and economic empowerment, the kind we see in Saudi Arabia, with its rich resources, Zamfara would have become a shining example of the blend of a religiously modern state proud of its development and modesty. Unfortunately, it turned out to become the den of criminality and instability in the region,” he said.

“From the blues, in 2009, cattle rustling became rampant. Most of the cattle rustled were transported to the south in trailers where they are sold and slaughtered. This massive movement of rustled cattle greatly reduced their population. Most of the rustling first affected the rural herdsmen and it became more elaborate in the North West region,” he added.

According to him, cattle-rearing gave way for banditry in 2015, and rugs were introduced to the illiterate herdsmen.
Consequently, local vigilantes naturally reacted in self-defence to the banditry, leading to the extra-judicial killing of the bandits, he disclosed.

The above narration, he insisted, led to the escalation of banditry.

To end the crises, he proffered: “This conflict can be resolved by active engagement of the government with the agitators. Just as we had the Niger Delta conflict resolved with amnesty, which came with reconciliation, reparation, and rehabilitation packages, so will the herdsmen crisis be resolved. In fact, there is need for a Marshal plan to educate the nomadic pastoralist, so that no citizen is left behind.”