Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and popular Islamic cleric Sheikh Abubakar Gumi on Sunday called for establishment of special courts to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom taking and possession of illegal arms.
This was the outcome of their meeting at the Penthouse within the sprawling Olusegun Onasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Gumi, who arrived Obasanjo’s Penthouse around noon, quickly entered a private meeting with his host.
The retired army captain was joined in the meeting by Prof. Usman Yusuf, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Hon Suleiman Gumi, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu and Mallam Buba Mohammed.
Others from Chief Obasanjo’s side are Agura of Gbagura Oba Babajide Bakare; Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Ogun chapter Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya;; Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sheikh Sa’addallah Alade Bamigbola; Chief Kenny Martins, Chief Ola Babajide Jaiyeoba; Rev. Tony Ojeshina, Chief Imams of Oke-Ona, Gbagura, Owu and Mr. Vitalis Ortese
When they emerged from the meeting, which lasted for hours, Obasanjo and Sheikh Gumi, in a joint statement, said: “We identified the crisis as micro ethnic conflict between the Fulani and many host communities mainly in the North West.
“We identified the remote causes as educational and economic disparities, and the negative use of religion and ethnicity by unscrupulous politicians
“Solutions must be seen and provided on short-, medium-, and long-term bases and must be composed of stick and carrot for the offender and the vulnerable.
“All well-meaning Nigerians have to be involved in finding solutions by: desisting from blame game; desisting from ethnicising these crimes; desisting from religionizing these crimes; desisting from regionalising these crimes.”