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CAN curious over Sheik Gumi’s interface with bandits, slams FG over silence

by Church Times

The Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed grave concern over the interface provided by Sheik Gumi between the government and bandits wondering what the security agencies are doing.

The body also picked a hole in Gumi’s Sheik alleged profiling of military operatives recently while addressing some bandits in Tegina forest, a border town between Niger and Kaduna States.

In a statement on Wednesday, March 3, signed by CAN Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, the body said, “We are curious to know how Gumi was able to locate the whereabouts of the bandits when our security agencies are giving us the impression that they are invincible. If the terrorists can be located, what hinders the police and the military from arresting them and bringing them to book? Is anyone in government conniving with the terrorists so that this insecurity might continue?”

The Christian body also expressed worry over the pampering of bandits saying “money is being made available to them while respected politicians and religious leaders are speaking for them. Criminals are being emboldened to commit their unlawful actions with impunity.

“Who truly offended these terrorists? What sin did the people they are attacking and kidnapping commit against them? Why should anybody be speaking in favour of the terrorists? Will pampering the terrorists not truly going to be around with us in the next 20 years as foretold by the immediate Chief of Army Staff?”

The statement noted further that “Nigeria’s unity is on trial and if those running the country are playing the ostrich, there may be no hope of redemption. May God save our nation. The country belongs to Muslims, Christians and the unbelievers and any attempt to divide us against one another by any cleric or through the over-zealous divisive actions of those in government may spell doom for all of us.”

CAN also called on Gumi to immediately withdraw the unpatriotic and divisive utterances credited to him in the interest of peace and unity of this country.

Gumi was quoted as saying, ‘What I want you people to understand is, soldiers that are involved in most of the criminalities are not Muslims. You know, soldiers have Muslims and non-Muslims. The non-Muslims are the ones causing confusion just to ignite crisis.’

CAN notes, “If anyone said it was the Christian soldiers who are attacking armed bandits, that person does not wish this country well and he doesn’t want the war against terrorism and banditry to end in victory. Gumi’s so-called audio evidence cannot be taken seriously because audio evidence can be deliberately arranged to make a point.

“Secondly, how can we ascertain the credibility of the person alleging that it was the Christian soldiers that were attacking communities and bandits? This unreasonable outburst is not only demoralizing and a plot to divide the Nigerian military into two along religious lines, it equally portrays the non-Christian soldiers as being not committed to fighting criminality.”

CAN however says Sheik Gumi may have been quoted out of context adding, “But if it was true, then, the unity and peace of the country are being threatened by the sentimental statement of this cleric.

“We have not heard the Presidency react to this dangerous statement as they are supposed to do, cautioning this cleric who has thrown caution to the wind. Such a grave allegation is evil, divisive, unpatriotic, ill-wind, and reprehensible. We ask again, is Sheik Gumi trying to polarise the military along the religious divides?

“Is he inciting the bandits against Christians? Is Gumi saying that the Muslim soldiers are on vacation in the ongoing war against terrorists, murderous herdsmen, and bandits? What good will this statement do to the insecurity in the country? We are of the opinion that the government of Nigeria should seriously caution Gumi for his reckless and inflammatory statement.”

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