Be careful what you do with Sheikh Gumi!
The action of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has successfully positioned himself between armed bandits and the rest of Nigeria, calls for careful understanding. His utterances are sometimes scary, such as saying that ransom must be paid to the armed bandits, that the armed bandits should be employed by the government to man the forests that they are occupying, and that they should be granted amnesty. None of that seems to make sense.
On Friday, June 25, 2021, I heard in the news that the Department of Security Service (DSS) has invited the Sheikh for interrogation. I became jittery because, in spite of his intervention, some of the kidnapped persons are killed. What if you remove his intervention, when the government is only making empty boasts about defeating Boko Haram and eradicating the armed bandits, even as the Fulani herdsmen terrorists remain larger than life?
Whatever judgment you want to pass, you must reckon with the fact that Gumi’s intervention started when it became obvious that the armed bandits are mushrooming and intractable by the government. It was not Gumi who asked Nigeria’s rulers to start an endless war against Boko Haram and the protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists. It was not Gumi who asked President Muhammadu Buhari to double himself as the self-appointed Petroleum Minister and be recovering looted funds without accounting for anything, yet sinking Nigeria in debts, hyperinflation, and mushrooming insecurities.
Since 2009 till date, the preoccupations of Nigeria’s rulers have been nothing but self-aggrandisement and war against Boko Haram, to which Buhari adds protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists, since 2015 till date, leading to the ruined economy, mushrooming armed bandits, and the misery bedeviling common Nigerians. Any attempt to demonise and victimise Gumi may exacerbate the fragile security of Nigeria, with particular reference to the north.
Nigeria’s rulers should take full responsibility for the political and economic mess that Nigeria has become, since 2009 till date: Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in his grave since 2010, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, David Mark, Aminu Tambuwal, Buhari, Bukola Saraki, Yakubu Dogara, Ahmad Lawan, Femi Gbajabiamila, among destroyers of Nigeria alike.
Among the accomplices are Ahmed Tinubu, Pastor Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Raufu Aregbesola, Bashiru Bolarinwa, Sulyman Ajadi, Akogun Oyedepo, Rotimi Amaechi, Chris Ngige, Samuel Lalong, et al aiding and abetting misrule and the Fulani Muslim imperialism. After decades of religiopolitical and economic misadventures, under carnage and economic destructions, what is stopping Nigeria from disintegration than the senseless-ness of too many Nigerians? The Senate President, Lawan is quoted as saying there is no option to borrowing for running Nigeria, but he said nothing on how Nigeria will pay the loans.
• Prof Ọlọjẹẹde Oyeniran Abiọjẹ, PhD, University of Ilorin.