NewsUPDATED: FG Invites Sheikh Gumi For Questioning

UPDATED: FG Invites Sheikh Gumi For Questioning

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March 25, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has invited a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, for questioning regarding his remarks concerning the activities of bandits in Nigeria.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the State House in Abuja, on Monday.

THEWILL reports that Sheikh Gumi had on Wednesday, March 20, questioned the rights of the Federal Government to label 15 entities, including nine individuals and six Bureau De Change operators and firms, as terrorism financiers.

Gumi, who spoke when he featured on Daily Trust X Space, said it is only the Court of law that has the right to declare anyone a terrorism financier.

“I think it’s high time the government took the bull by the horns, and come together to see how to redirect these people (bandits).

“Now they are looking for N1 billion for these children (kidnap victims) to be released. They financed themselves by kidnapping. I think it’s rubbish to just frame your political opponents as financing terrorism.

“No Nigerian will put his money into terrorism, we’re beyond that. These people are financing themselves by taking our children for ransom. So, how can we say some people are financing terrorism because there is a misunderstanding between them,” he said.

Gumi, who was requested to vindicate himself due to some individuals already implicating him in the scandal, had said: “I am a public figure; many people come to me. The good, the bad, the ugly. As a preacher, I cannot send anybody away, no matter how bad. If you ask, especially pastors, armed robbers come to them and confess but they cannot still take them to the authorities. What I know of Mamu and his arrest is a misunderstanding between him and the committee that was supposed to deal with the release of some victims.

“But since the case is in court, we hope the court will be just to him. That is what we wanted all along; take him to court. Instead of incarcerating someone and levelling phantom allegations against him. Bring your proof, and if Mamu is found guilty, he should have full-fledged punishment. But as of what I know, let’s wait for the court,” the Sheikh had responded.

Sheikh Gumi had also called on President Bola Tinubu-led government to collaborate with him to negotiate with bandits.

He cautioned Tinubu against repeating what he characterised as the mistake committed by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who declined to engage in dialogue with bandits.

“I am ready to lead a holistic dialogue between the government and bandits. It is a religious duty for me to do so for peace. I hope the present government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will listen by dialoguing with the bandits because the past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari refused to do so,” he said.

But speaking on Monday, after the FEC meeting, Idris told State House correspondents that Sheikh Gumi was not “above the law”.

The Minister said the government has deemed it necessary to invite the cleric for questioning.

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