CAN tackles Gumi over statement profiling soldiers
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed disappointment with Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, over his alleged profiling of military operatives recently, while addressing some bandits in Tegina forest, a border town between Niger and Kaduna states.
CAN told Gumi to withdraw his statement accusing some soldiers of engaging in criminalities, in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
Gumi had reportedly said: “Soldiers that are involved in most of the criminalities are not Muslims. Soldiers have Muslims and non-Muslims; the non-Muslims are the ones causing confusion just to ignite crisis.”
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, General Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, noted that anyone saying that Christian soldiers are the ones attacking bandits does not wish the country well,” adding that the Islamic cleric’s statement could lead to division in the country.
“If anyone said Christian soldiers are attacking communities, that person does not wish this country well and doesn’t want the war against terrorism 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.
“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 demoralising and a plot to divide the Nigerian military along religious lines, it equally, derogatively, portrays the non-Christian soldiers as not committed to fighting criminality.,” CAN said.
The association expressed its belief that Gumi was quoted out of context. “But if it was true, then the unity and peace of the country are being threatened by the sentimental statement of this self-appointed negotiator.”
Daramola lamented that the bandits were now being pampered, money being made available to them and highly respected politicians and religious leaders speaking for them.
“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 past Chief of Army Staff?” he queried.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s prolonged silence is tantamount to an endorsement of Gumi’s dangerous statement, he alleged.