By Luminous Jannamike
The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has urged the Nigerian Army to steer clear of renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, in what it described as the military’s quest to divert public attention from its alleged failures to tackle the insecurity bedevilling the country.
CNG’s Director of Research, Ahmad Abubakar Khalid, said this in a statement titled, “We won’t accept any form of disrespect and intimidation from the Nigerian military towards Dr. Gumi,” in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Recall that the Nigerian Army had cautioned Gumi against making divisive and disparaging utterances against the military institutions.
However, the CNG alleged that the Army authorities were embittered over Gumi’s workable effort towards addressing the spate of criminality in the North, which has endeared the Northern masses to him.
The Coalition further blamed the failure of security agencies to curb the menace for the intervention of a private citizen in the quest to restore peace in troubled parts of the Northern region.
The CNG statement reads in part, “The Nigerian military and other security agencies failed in their cardinal responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of the citizenry by combating the serial heinous acts of killings, banditry, kidnapping and insurgency rocking the nation, especially the North.
“Their failure to curb the menace led to the necessary intervention by Dr. Ahmad Gumi towards bridging the gap the created by the government’s inability to restore peace in both rural and urban centres in the North.
“However, we expect the military and other security agencies to provide Dr. Ahmad Gumi with the necessary support he may require to achieve the needed result, if only they are faithful and serious in discharging their primary assignment of securing the lives and properties of the citizens, not the other way round. We also expect the Government to complement Dr. Gumi’s efforts rather than warn or speak ill of him in his selfless service to the nation.”
According to the CNG, Gumi voluntarily had risked his own life for the restoration of peace and stability in troubled parts of the nation.
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The CNG Director of Research also said the impact of Gumi’s efforts was already being felt in the North as some bandits were voluntarily repenting.
Khalid, therefore stated that criticising Gumi would be considered a strategy to stop his effort at restoring peace in the country.
He said, “The criticism and the vicious attack on Dr. Gumi is discouraging and it has given the criminals a greenlight to continue their odious activities. But, we won’t take it either from the military or anyone responsible for the unabated attacks.
“The military’s trade of words with Dr. Gumi is a clear indication that it is jealous of his success towards ending banditry, especially where the military as an institution has failed, despite the billions of Naira spent for the task.
“It is an act of injustice for the army to ignore the provocative statements from Apostle Suleiman and Rev. Mathew Kukah but raise eyebrows against Dr. Ahmad Gumi.
“Lastly, we urge the good citizens of Nigerians to request that the military hierarchy should investigate Gumi’s claim that religion was negatively playing out in the fight against the insecurity.”
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