FG invites Gumi for questioning, says ‘he’s not above law’

THE Federal Government has invited Kaduna-based Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi for questioning over his comments on bandits activities in Nigeria.

While addressing journalists at the State House, Abuja, on Monday, March 25,  the Minister of Information and Orientation, Mohammed Idris,  said the government had deemed it necessary to invite him for questioning.

He noted that the controversial cleric was not above the law, adding that he would be reprimanded if the government saw his comments as reckless.

“The government will stop at nothing to get any kind of information that is required to solve our problems. The security agencies are up and doing.

“Sheikh Gumi and any other individual are not above the law; if he has suggestions that are good enough and that are constructive enough for the security agencies to take, they will take. But if they think that he is also making some statements that appear to be reckless, he will also be reprimanded.

“There is nobody above the law. Let me put it here. And I’m aware that he has also been a guest of security agencies to answer questions. When you make remarks, especially those that border on our national security, it is incumbent on our national security to think further, and they are doing just that. No one is above the law,” he added.

He, however, reiterated that no ransom was paid for the release of the abducted students in Kuriga LEA School in Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

The Federal Government’s invitation came a few days after Gumi appealed to the Federal Government to dialogue with the bandits who abducted schoolchildren as a way of rescuing them.

Gumi, in a statement on Monday, March 11, also urged Tinubu not to repeat the ‘mistake’ made by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to dialogue with bandits during the many abductions that took place under his watch.

The ICIR, on Thursday, March 7, reported how the assailants invaded the schools and kidnapped over 100 children, alongside some staff of the school.

While the military confirmed that all the 137 abductees, comprising 76 females and 61 males, within eight and 15 years, had been rescued, there was growing concern as to whether the government paid ransom to the bandits.

Previously, Gumi has acted as a negotiator between the Nigerian government and terrorists whose hideouts he had visited in different states with the sacked Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), now the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Usman Yusuf, a professor.






     

     

    Gumi had also called for dialogue with the terrorists on several occasions, saying that terrorists had taken up arms due to government neglect and injustice and that they did so in self-defence.

    He predicted that the country would be peaceful if terrorists were granted free education and basic amenities. He also warned against using the military approach to address insecurity in the North, recommending that amnesty be granted to them.

    A day after bandits were declared terrorists in Nigeria, Gumi had described the decision as an exercise in futility.

    “The decision by the government will not have any practical value because even before the declaration, they had been fought and treated as terrorists. So it is just a nomenclature which I believe will not change the dynamics on the ground,” he had said.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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