Two days after making sweeping allegations that security operatives are working with bandits who are wreaking havoc across the country, Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, backtracks, as he honours invitation of the Department of State Service (DSS) who invited him to their Kaduna office for questioning. Sheikh Gumi had said on Arise TV on Wednesday that banditry in Nigeria would have ended if the security personnel were not giving the bandits soft landing. Gumi, who described banditry as a business, said that “these bandits, if you don’t know, are cooperating with a lot of bad elements in our security system. This is a business. So many people are involved, you’ll be so surprised. “They were caught in Zamfara. They were caught everywhere. How do these big weapons cross our borders? How can these big weapons cross our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some bad element of the security operatives assisting them? It’s not possible. If I give you the same amount of guns can you take it to the UK? You can’t, because the security is alert. Part of fighting this banditry is to overhaul our security system.” On Friday, a Voice of America (VOA) Hausa service programme confirmed that Sheikh Gumi was invited to the Kaduna office of the DSS.
Gumi’s Spokesperson, Malam Tukur Mamu, in an interview with VOA Hausa, dismissed allegation against his principal, saying there was nowhere in the TV interview where Gumi categorically accused the entire military.
According to Mamu, what Gumi said was what people have been saying and “even the soldiers have been saying that there could be some bad eggs among them.”
He therefore urged the military and the Arise TV company to apologize to Sheihk Gumi and retract their statements against him or else he would seek legal action.
Nigerian Army Spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a swift statement on Wednesday that “the Nigerian Army has just been alerted to a submission by Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi when he featured on ARISE TV Morning Show on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 alleging that the Nigerian Military is colluding with marauding bandits who have been responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians and the Nigerian State.
“The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to state that contrary to Sheik Gumi’s claims, the NA remains a bonafide symbol of national unity that has conducted its constitutional responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices of adherence to the rules of engagement and protection of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry. “The sweeping allegation peddled by the scholar is not only sad and unfortunate, but a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of our patriotic troops, who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country. It is essential to remind ourselves that these same military, being accused of connivance, are the ones who recently put their lives on the line to rescue abductees of the Government Secondary School, Birnin Yawuri from kidnappers. “While the NA will not attempt to excuse the possibility of black sheep amongst its fold, it must be stated unambiguously that it will not condone any form of sabotage or aiding and assisting the enemy by any personnel, as provisions for dealing decisively with such acts are crystallised in Section 45 (1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”