A Southern Kaduna group, under the aegis of the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU), has criticized Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, calling for his arrest and prosecution over comments they deemed to be inciting.
The group took exception to a viral video of a conversation Gumi had with some Fulani terrorists when he visited them in their hideout and told them that the soldiers who are “killing them are Christian soldiers and not Moslem soldiers.”
In the video, Gumi also told the criminals that when they “attack a community in vengeance, they should choose their targets well.”
In a statement made available to Ripples Nigeria and signed by the Secretary General of SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, the group wondered how Gumi could make such inflammatory statements and the Nigerian government and the security agencies have refused to invite him for questioning.
The statement further questioned the integrity of the Islamic preacher, saying that Gumi’s attribution that “such act dents the work of kidnappers, insinuates that the cleric is making himself the spiritual leader of the bandits.”
Part of the statement reads:
“Sheikh Gumi’s inciting comments were very unfortunate and we strongly call for his arrest and prosecution. We have always suspected that there was something that the Islamic cleric is doing with these people that we do not understand.
“It is a disgraceful way of succumbing to the wiles and evil of a band of violent criminals who are more feared and respected by the state, not really because of their capacity for bloodletting, but because they are seen as kinsmen of the number one man of Nigeria. SOKAPU is totally against Sheikh Gumi in that project.
“Such wicked, heartless and unprincipled criminals must not be dignified in that manner. Why is the Islamic cleric not interested in justice and restitution for thousands of the surviving victims of their evil but the welfare and freedom of those who killed others?
”In Southern Kaduna, we have over 50,000 IDPs and over 100 communities that have been captured and occupied by these evil men that our people confirmed to be Fulani armed men. We have mass graves dotted all over our area as a result of their wickedness.
“Last year alone, our poor people paid nothing less than N1 billion as ransom for the freedom of their abducted people. Why is the cleric not negotiating with relevant authorities for justice? His proposition is irrational and dumbfounding. SOKAPU wants Sheikh Gumi investigated for his role with these people.
“Again, comparing Fulani bandits and kidnappers to Niger Delta militant by Sheikh Gumi is another unfortunate thing to say.
“The agitation for fairness and equity for Niger Delta regions dates back to the sixties. They are the goose that lay the golden egg in Nigeria, yet is one of the most deprived, degraded and marginalised areas in Nigeria.
“Who does not know Adaka Boro? Who does not know the slain Ogoni freedom fighter, Ken Saro Wiwa? The youths of the Niger Delta had a legitimate right to use violence to seek attention in the manner they did theirs.
“They kidnapped foreign oil workers to seek international attention. They didn’t kill them. They sabotaged oil pipelines to hurt the economy so that a deaf government will take them seriously.
“They did not invade any community, not to talk of raping women, killing, abducting citizens and setting the communities ablaze. They were civilised in their approach of expressing their grievances to the concerned authorities and the world agreed that they had a legitimate cause.
“What are the Fulani armed men looking for? Even the Sultan of Sokoto has said that out of 10 bandits caught, between 8 and 7 are Fulani. In what ways have the Nigerian state and peaceful, vulnerable communities been against their interests?
“What is their contribution to the economy? Do you know how much harm they are doing to agriculture and chasing away investors from the Middle-Belt and the north?
“What are their grievances? Why must they be so rewarded after such massive destruction of lives and property? Then, let all the armed robbers, all rapists, all arsonists and every criminal be forgiven and granted amnesty.”
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