Edwin Clark blasts Gumi for saying herdsmen ‘learnt’ kidnapping from N’Delta

Obinwannem News Edwin Clark blasts Gumi for saying herdsmen 'learnt' kidnapping from N'Delta

Renowned politician and Ijaw leader Edwin Clark, and other stakeholders of the ‘Niger Delta’ region have lambasted popular Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmad Gumi, that herdsmen learned kidnapping from the Niger Delta militants.

In a televised programme on AIT, Tuesday, Gumi said bandits and criminal herdsmen learned kidnapping from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, adding that “if militants could be granted amnesty, the same treatment should be applied to the bandits, and herdersmen”.

He said, “We didn’t take a different route of trying to solve this problem, and that is why we are still here today. And when they say amnesty, we don’t mean that anyone proved to be involved in murder should go free as such.

“The (herdsmen) learnt kidnapping from MEND. I do not see any difference. they were the first victims of rustling. Their cattle is their oil. What we are seeing now is more of insurgency than banditary. I can say 10 percent of the herders are criminal, not 90 percent. At the end, they took up weapons to protect themselves from extinction”.

Reacting, Chief Edwin Clark referred Gumi’s statement as being “criminal, obnoxious, and stupid”.

Speaking with Vanguard yesterday in Abuja, he said: “How can he say that? The people in the Niger Delta took arms when they found that they are oppressed, dehumanized, and their rights taken away from them and given to other Nigerians.

“All our lands, money has been taking, children no longer go to school. We are fighting for our rights,” Clark lamented.

“This is a stupid statement, it is obnoxious and criminal. I don’t blame them because they are the people; their governors, their politicians (who) exploit our oil. They are the senior managers and zonal managers of oil industries. They have taken away our oil; our people have nothing, and at that, the youths decided to take the driver’s seat.”

Seimbiri Kingdom monarch, HRM Ayemi-Botu also reacted: “Tell Gumi to differentiate from Niger Delta militants, marauding killer herdsmen, bandits and Boko Haram; that have been killing , kidnapping, and robbing innocent citizen through out Nigeria and neighbouring Africa countries with impunity.”

Cordinator of 21st CYNDAC, self-styled General Izon Ebi also reacted to Gumi’s statement as “disgusting, insulting and provacative to compare herdsmen to Niger Delta militants,” condeming the attrocities committed by Fulani herdsmen. He emphasised they were imported to dislodge former president Goodluck Jonathan from office.

The Ovie of Idjerhe, HRM Whiskey also said comparing criminality with a regional outcry is uncalled for, if Sheikh grants amnesty for bandits, then he should be invited to throw more lights on bandits operations and possibly their sponsors.

Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News

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