Controversial Islami cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has built a school for bandits located at Kagarko Grazing Reserve near Kohoto Village in Kaduna State. The school named Sheikh Uthman Bin Fodio Centre contains six classrooms that can be used for primary and secondary schools.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Gumi said he decided to establish the school for the bandits in order to educate them and help solve their violent ideologies.
The cleric added that the school was built in the bandits’ remote location to show the sincerity of the initiative and to persuade them to lay down their weapons.
Gumi stated that the federal government can solve the issue of banditry in the North West by providing education opportunities and other basic amenities for the bandits.
He also asked the government to direct the money spent on military hardware to fight the bandits, to the establishment of schools and training of teachers.
He said: “If the centre which is designed to educate the herdsmen is replicated everywhere in the Country, Nigerians will live in peace.
“Instead of spending billions on military hardware to fight the bandits, Nigeria should spend such money on schools and teachers. I have spoken with the bandits and they have expressed willingness to drop their arms and embrace peace if their children can be given education and other social amenities.
“What motivated me to start this project was to solve the insecurity problem we have from the root because every crime has its perpetrators and perpetrators are drawn from a pool so we want to go there and dry the pool and we found out that education is the best cure.
“If they are educated, they will not be doing what they are doing. So, we say we must take education to the grassroots and we embarked on the project to also be an example for others, local government, state and federal and rich individuals even cooperative societies to come together and make sure that we are directed across the forest to know what we can do to carter for nomads; it does not cost much, very little and it will help to educate them and we will live peacefully with them.
“What we have here is a centre containing six classrooms that can be used for primary, secondary schools and at various times you can teach all categories at all times and the place will be engaged for 24 hours because the herdsmen usually take their cattle out by 10am and bring them back by dawn or sunset so they have 2 hours before they take their cattle away and we have 2 to 3 hours because we like to put some solar light so that they can read 8, 9, 10 in the night so that the herder can go and come back.
“We have schools, we have hospital and also showing them how to grind the foliage which they can use to feed their animals, some of them don’t need to go out because those things are so cheap and farmers are throwing those things away, soon farmers will start charging for it. If we can duplicate this everywhere Nigerians will live in peace.”