The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed disappointment in Sheik Ahmad Gumi, over his recent profiling of military operatives while addressing some bandits in Tegina forest, a border town between Niger and Kaduna states.
The CAN General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, said on Wednesday in Abuja that Dr Gumi must immediately withdraw his unpatriotic and divisive utterances in the interest of peace and unity of this country.
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According to him, Gumi was quoted as saying, “What I want you people to understand is soldiers that are involved in most of the criminalities are not Muslims.
“You know, soldiers have Muslims and non-Muslims. The non-Muslims are the ones causing confusion just to ignite crisis.”
But the CAN national scribe said that if anyone said it was the Christian soldiers who are attacking armed bandits, that person does not wish this country well and he does not want the war against terrorism and banditry to end in victory.
“This unreasonable outburst is not only demoralizing and a plot to divide the Nigerian military into two along religious lines, it equally derogatively portrays the non-Christian soldiers as being not committed to fighting criminality,” Daramola said.
He said the organisation does not believe that Sheik Gumi was quoted out of context and that if it was true, the unity and peace of the country are being threatened by his sentimental statements.
“We have not heard the Presidency react to this dangerous statement as they are supposed to do, cautioning this cleric who has thrown caution to the wind.
“Such a grave allegation is evil, divisive, unpatriotic, ill-wind and reprehensible.
“We ask again, is Sheik Gumi trying to polarise the military along the religious divides?
“Is he inciting the bandits against Christians? Is Gumi saying that the Muslim soldiers are on vacation in the ongoing war against terrorists, murderous herdsmen and bandits?
“What good will this statement do to the insecurity in the country?
“We are of the opinion that the government of Nigeria should seriously caution Gumi for his reckless and inflammatory statement,” he said.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s prolonged silence is tantamount to an endorsement of Gumi’s statement.
He said that if what Gumi reportedly said was attributed to a Christian leader, the security operatives would have invited him or declared him wanted and the Presidency would have publicly condemned that Christian leader.
He said that this was done in the case of Apostle Johnson Suleiman, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, Prophet Isa El-Buba and of recent, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah.
According to him, Kukah’s statements were handled by security operatives and equally reacted to by the government.