June 25, (THEWILL) – After spending much of Friday with the Department of State Security (DSS), Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has been released to go home.
Gumi’s spokesman, Malam Tukur Mamu, nevertheless told the VOA Hausa Service that his principal deserved an apology.
Alluding to a recent television interview that got the Army denying collusion with bandits, Mamu said Gumi never made any accusation in that direction against the Armed Forces.
Mamu said that Gumi only repeated in that interview what people, including soldiers, had been alleging, that the military harboured “some bad eggs amongst them” peddling information with insurgents, bandits and terrorists.
For this reason, Mamu insisted that the military and the television station deserved to send apologies to the cleric; failing which Gumi might seek legal redress.
Journalists who tried to get Gumi to speak on his Friday date with DSS found him stone-walling as he left his phone unreachable.
DSS earlier today confirmed its invitation to the Islamic cleric, saying the agency sought his cooperation about some unspecified ongoing investigation.
DSS Spokesman, Peter Afunnaya, said it was their prerogative to invite and quiz “any person of interest.”
Afunnaya, however, would not divulge why Gumi was particularly considered among “any person of interest.”
However, one Twitter user with the handle @HarunMisbahu announced that “SHEIKH AHMAD GUMI invited by DSS. He has honor the invitation. Alhamdulillah he is back home strong.
“May God brings an end to this insecurity problems disturbing our nation Southern media both electronic and press media should make this news as their headlines.”
Gumi has thrown himself into the eye of the current insurgency by serving as a negotiator between bandits and kidnapped victim’s families, severally making incursions into the thick forests harbouring the criminals, and sometimes to the point of negotiating ransom payments.
THEWILL Thursday reported that the Nigerian Army responded to a report that Gumi said its men had been colluding with bandits, following the Islamic cleric’s television on ARISE TV Morning Show on Wednesday, 23 June 2021, where he accused soldiers of colluding with marauding bandits responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians.
In response, Army spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, issued a statement, that contrary to Gumi’s claims, “The Nigerian Army remains a 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.”
He described the allegation as a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of its personnel.
Nwachukwu’s statement declared: “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.
“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.”
But despite his mediatory role, Gumi is widely accused of sympathising with bandits for whom he has relentlessly campaigned for a “blanket amnesty” and rehabilitation.