If FG backs Obasanjo-Gumi initiative, herdsmen attacks, banditry can end in July –Ardo, PDP chieftain

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If FG backs Obasanjo-Gumi initiative, herdsmen attacks, banditry can end in July –Ardo, PDP chieftain

Jesusegun Alagbe

6 June 2021

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Umar Ardo

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party and member of the Historical Society of Nigeria, Dr Umar Ardo, tells JESUSEGUN ALAGBE he believes Fulani herdsmen attacks and banditry can end by July if the Federal Government applies the Fulani psychology of ‘Pulaku’ on the perpetrators

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In a viral video clip last week, the Deputy Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Abuja, Prof Ibrahim Maqari, said it’s ‘haram’ (forbidden) to pay ransom in Islam. How true is this?

I am not versed in Islamic jurisprudence, so l cannot say for sure. But from the little l read, there was a payment of a ransom in Islam in exchange for prisoners of war captured in the course of the war between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Holy Quran and Hadith of the Holy Prophet of Islam command Muslims to release unconditionally or pay ransom for war prisoners, depending on their personal conditions. ‘Thereafter (free them) either as a favour (an act of grace) or (for) ransom until the war lays down (terminates) its burden…’ (The Quran, 47:4). The verse puts a clear premium on the fate of prisoners. It commands Muslims to release prisoners in any case after the cessation of hostilities. The verse instructs Muslims on how to release prisoners. It provides unconditional release out of pity or release for ransom. Though the verse puts a priority on gratuitous release over ransoming prisoners by mentioning it first, still, ransoming is mentioned. Having myself once paid a ransom in bitcoins to my daughter’s kidnappers to get her released, l cannot see how l committed a sin by such an act. But Allah knows best.

Unfortunately, we’re in a situation where students are kidnapped for ransom, especially in the North-West. Some have been murdered by bandits because their parents/guardians/government refused to pay ransoms (on time). What should be done in this scenario?

Remember that the world is ruled effectively by thinkers who understand society and not by power mongers – the latter only destroy societies. If you understand the full context of every situation, you will be able to resolve the issue most satisfactorily – any situation at all! This principle applies both to natural and societal issues. So the first thing you do in solving a problem is to understand its dynamics, then the rest is easy. Why our problems remain unsolved is because the operators of government institutions do not understand the total circumstances of the issues involved.

As an example to your specific question, you can see how the (Sheikh Ahmad) Gumi/(ex-President Olusegun) Obasanjo Initiative has secured the release of all the 27 Afaka captives without paying any ransom. The reason is simple – the initiative understood the totality of the situation, particularly the psychology of the captors, and worked on it so well that the captors were happy to drop their monetary demands and release all of their captives. The Fulani psychology of Pulaku was used on them and it worked like magic.

In an opinion you wrote recently, you mentioned that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to extricate the government of accusations of extremism, Islamisation, Fulanisation, and so on with the retention of Dr Isa Pantami as a minister after he was exposed to being sympathetic to global terrorist groups in the past. Why do you think the Presidency must have retained Pantami despite his own confession and public outrage?

I don’t know why. Maybe President (Muhammadu) Buhari has a personal liking for Dr Pantami. For all l know, neither the Glorious Qur’an nor the Hadith