Connect with us

Politics

No President Has Killed Herdsmen As Buhari — Gumi Blows Hot

Gumi
Spread the love

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, who is known for his contact with bandits and herdsmen terrorizing the North-West and North-Central parts of Nigeria, in this interview with Vanguard’s columnist, Donu Kogbara, and a British journalist, Patrick, speak on the complexity of the problem, the actors and what he thinks is the way out.

You were instrumental in the release of some kidnapped Abuja-bound train travelers. How did you make it happen?

Advertisement

Yes, as you’ve seen in the news, yes it’s there. We tried to intercede and see if they could release the victims. But you know we are dealing with outlaws, people who feel that society has made them aggrieved. I think the way to come about it is to engage them and make some sense. They’re not educated. They are young men. Some of them are educated but they are not civilized.

I was given the impression that some of these boys are graduates who couldn’t find jobs…

They’re not graduates, maybe they have an elementary education, or went to secondary school, but these are not the normal herdsmen we know. They are an offshoot of these terrorists.

Advertisement

Which organization specifically?

Yes, we have a sense that they are the Ansaru faction.

Is it the Ansaru faction of Boko Haram?

Advertisement

Meaning they are more civilised than Boko Haram.

Are they linked to Daesh, the Islamic State in West Africa Province as well?

I don’t think so. It’s not an offshoot of ISWAP. They call it ISWAP here. It’s an extent of West Africa. I don’t think it is ISWAP or Boko Haram. It is Ansaru. The Ansaru are a little bit different.

Advertisement

They had to carve out a small area where they could live their lives. And I think they were disbanded, and some of their children were arrested, so they dispersed and got arms to fight back. If you want to demarcate Boko Haram and the ISWAP, they are originally one group. Boko Haram was killing and massacring civilians.

When the Daesh came, they said “okay let’s follow the Daesh and become a subsidiary of the Daesh”. They are not Boko Haram. To them, Boko is not a problem. Their problem is that they want to seclude themselves in the forest so that they live their pristine life the way they envisaged it but because of the fear of Boko Haram. The authorities disbanded them.

When their camp was disbanded, they became armed. They’re not challenging the state. They were challenging wrongdoing by the state. That was why when they took the victims; they wanted their prisoners to be released. You’ve seen the difference now.

Advertisement

People say that Boko Haram would never have taken up arms if it hadn’t been for the killing of their leader Mohammed Yusuf, right?

Yes, yes, absolutely.

It’s a similar pattern you think where the state overreacts?

Advertisement

Yes, it’s a similar pattern. Unfortunately or fortunately, Ansaru people do not deny English, they don’t deny civilisation.

I mean, there’s a huge controversy about dealing with these groups. I’m sure you are aware of the BBC’s documentary when it went out and interviewed some of the young men involved in these groups and the government said it was wrong. What’s your view on giving them publicity?

Yes, they need publicity in the sense that it will diffuse the tension. One of the leaders of these bandits, because he was given publicity, he publicly came out to say he was agreeing to peace.

Advertisement

And it was the same thing we did with Niger Delta militants. They had all this exposure. The more we hide and demonize people, the more difficult it is to solve this problem. Because it goes beyond saying this is a criminal. The question is, this criminal is affected too. He has his grievances and he’s armed like you are armed.

And he can inflict a lot of damage. It is better you sit down and iron out your differences with him. I don’t think government should feel so big-headed when in the first place they cannot prevent such kidnaps.

You were in the army, what do you think is the problem?

Advertisement

Actually, the problem is the structure of the security system itself. Just recently, two soldiers gunned down an Islamic scholar in Borno State, and it was not because of any religious group. It’s criminality.

In the ranks of the army and police, we have criminals. How do they get into the army? It is because now you cannot get into the security agencies unless you have money. We have criminals in the armed forces.

These bandits, who is supplying them weapons? There are bad elements in security (services). Even if you are the Commander-in-Chief, if you don’t look at the security system and overhaul it completely, this problem will continue.

Advertisement

When you said restructure it, do you mean making it bigger, smaller or…?

Make it more effective. Make it modern. Make sure you flush out irresponsible people in it. There should be a check and balance system. Let it work, let the security system work. If it’s working, I don’t think we will have any problem in the country.

A lot of people accuse the President of being complicit. They say he is sectional and doesn’t want to do anything that will harm noble Muslims, especially Fulani. Do you believe that?

Advertisement

Oh, it’s the opposite. It is just a wrong perception. If there is any President that has actually killed innocent herdsmen in the forest, it is Buhari. In all these bombardments, innocent people, women and children all die.

It started during Jonathan (administration). I’m telling you most of the herdsmen are reacting to the overuse of armed forces. Their children were scattered and displaced. This is what happened and what is happening. They are just fighting back. And what I was able to do is to sit down with them and hear their grievances.

But when we came out, we didn’t have anything — nobody was trying to listen. Even the press is not receptive.

Advertisement

The press was very hostile. Like what you said when the BBC had its interview, the government was hostile. When we went in, we were accused of trying to give publicity to these people. Just imagine the Ansaru people behind the train attack, we later learnt that eight of their children were incarcerated.

So no matter how criminally-minded you are, what has that to do with your children? So we’re pushing them into criminal activities.

Are you saying that anyone who takes up arms against the Federal Government, the best way to deal with the person is to establish channels of communication and negotiate?

Advertisement

Yes, because they have grievances. They have something they are complaining about. So, sit down and see how to solve their problem.

· In part 2 of the interview next Sunday, Gumi says only Christians are afraid of Musim-Muslim presidential tickets, calls IPoB members destroyers and speaks on how he established ties with bandits.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

Oyo Gov suspends campaign as protests rock Ibadan over new naira notes, fuel crisis

Spread the love

Kayode Sanni Arewa

Protest in Ibadan over fuel, Naira scarcity
Some aggrieved residents of Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Friday trooped to major roads protesting over the hardship imposed on them by the new naira notes and persistent fuel scarcity.

Advertisement

The protesters, in their hundreds, blocked the Iwo Road Interchange, frontage of the State Secretariat at Agodi and other major roads in the city.

At the state secretariat, the fierce looking youths forcefully opened the gate and moved into the complex, heading straight to the Governor’s office situated within the complex.

At Iwo Road Interchange, suspected hoodlums have hijacked the protest.
They were, however, prevented from gaining entrance into the governor’s office due to quick response from the security personnel manning the gates.

Advertisement

In the town, the protesters obstructed the major roads, thereby hindering free vehicular movement, which left many commuters stranded.

They were seen blocking all the adjoining roads, burning tyres and harassing motorists and the commuters.

At the Gate/Bus Stop and Idi- Ape axis, the protesters blocked the roads, diverting vehicles from the direction.

Advertisement

A cross section of the protesters attributed their actions to the frustrations being faced in the banks and filling stations.

As at the time of filling this report, the protest was spreading to other parts of the city.

The patrol vehicles of security agencies, particularly the police were seen moving toward Iwo Road and Idiape areas of the city to restore normalcy.

Advertisement

Commenting, Mr Olu Akindele, an Artisan, said he spent the whole day at the Automated Teller Machine point in one of the banks at Iwo Road on Thursday and was unable to get cash.

According to him, the ATM was not dispensing, but I waited for hours, hoping that the bank officials would load it.

“We Nigerians have been contending with fuel and new naira notes scarcity for weeks across the country.

Advertisement

“I believe it is time for the government to take positive step to address the twins challenges we are battling with,” he said.

A POS operator, Miss Funmi Irewole, also expressed frustration as she could not withdraw either the old or new notes from her deposit before extension of the deadline.

Ojewole called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, review its policy on the new naira notes to alleviate the sufferings of the citizens.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has suspended his campaign activities until further notice over unending fuel and new naira-note crisis in the state.

Makinde, whose campaign trail had visited some parts of the state, announced the suspension of his campaign activities at the flag off of the Omi-Adio-Ido Road on Friday.

This is contained in a statement by Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.

Advertisement

The governor said that the suspension was in solidarity with the people over the harrowing experiences in recent time over unending fuel and new naira note crisis in the state.

Makinde, who was in Ido to continue his campaign, directed that all campaign activities be suspended, noting that the people’s suffering was too much.

The governor said that the decision was taken because, he was elected to protect the interests and well beings of citizens of the state.(NAN)

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Politics

TRENDING! Watch moment protesters chased away Tinubu’s campaign train in Ijesha land

Tinubu, Electricity, Riders
Spread the love

A viral clip has emerged online showing protesters chasing away APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu campaign team when he visited the King of Ijesaland.

Echoes of go away we don’t want any party here and echoes of unprintable graffiti rented the air.

Advertisement

WATCH clip below 👇
Click to watch 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Politics

BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Kefas Agbu as Taraba PDP governorship candidate

court
Spread the love

By Gloria Ikibah

The Supreme Court has affirmed the candidature of Agbu Kefas as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba state.

Advertisement

Justice Emmanuel Agim on Friday
dismissed the appeal brought before it by Prof. Jerome Nyameh challenging the May 25, 2022 Taraba governorship primary election that produced Kefas as the flagbearer of the PDP.

The apex court dismissed the appeal by Nyameh on the grounds that he failed to explore the internal mechanism for peaceful resolution of primary election before rushing to court to institute the suit.

Justice Agim, while reading the unanimous judgment of the court held that Nyameh also failed to join other aspirants that participated in the primary election as defendants as required by law.

Advertisement

The apex court also said that the law was clear on conditions precedent to be complied with before any aggrieved governorship aspirant can rush to court.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Read Stories