ABUJA – In the wake of the rising death toll recorded in the ill-fated Kaduna-bound train from Abuja which was attacked by terrorists on Monday night, civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked the Muhammadu Buhari Administration to arrest controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, “an influential Islamic cleric who has persistently defended the atrocious criminality of bandits and other marauders in Northern Nigeria.”
HURIWA, in a statement on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, argued that Sheikh Gumi has been outspoken as a “bandits’ sympathiser” over the years, “including demanding blanket amnesty for daredevil bandits and venturing into the forests of Zamfara, Katsina, and Niger State to hold discussion with the dreaded bandits turning the North-West zone to another place of sorrow, tears and blood.”
The rights group also said it was not enough for the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists as gazetted by the Federal Government in January 2022 following the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja. “Rather,” according to HURIWA, “the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), should go further and also gazette “bandits’ sympathisers” like Gumi as terrorists sympathisers. Why did the Federal Government capture Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and slammed a blanket ban on his Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) only for pouring invective against the person of President Muhammadu Buhari from his London United Kingdom base but the same government through the National Security Adviser to the President Major General Babagana Monguno even openly endorsed the clandestine meetings of terrorists with Sheikh Abubakar Gumi of Kaduna? This is double standards and this is the reason why there is so much injustices all around this administration.
“Why is the government pretending like it never heard or read on the media when Sheikh Gumi said there will be war if the then bandits are declared as terrorists and that he will no longer interface with them after the Declaration and now that the war foretold has started and innocent blood is being spilled, why is the government not inviting Sheikh Gumi to say more than he knows about these terrorists he so much defended and even compared them to the Niger Delta resource control agitators? Why is Gumi bigger than the law but Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been languishing in DSS underground cell and allegedly undergoing torture?”