-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:
It is daily becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to understand the personality called Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, the Kaduna based, controversial Islamic Cleric and self appointed negotiator.
On one front, he’s a religious teacher; fierce, fearless and vitriolic with his gospel. On the other, he’s a “peacemaker “, queer, daring and suspiciously subversive and distrustful.
This owes partly to his self appointed role of reconciling the daredevil bandits with the government and the people who have become the unfortunate victims of these marauding abductors.
Since Nigeria became an unsolved security riddle ridden with truths, lies and half truths, conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims have become the order of the day. And people like the Cleric, Sheikh Gumi, are seizing the moment to shine like a million stars.
The recent utterance of the Islamic scholar is definitely a negative way to go, against the backdrop of the earlier applause enjoyed by him as a conscientious negotiator who happened at the nick of time.
To add a religious colouration to a social crisis that has no regard for creed or belief is to distract the generality of the people from getting a possible solution to the crisis.
There’s no human crisis without someone or group of persons benefiting from it; the disaster capitalists, rebuild contractors and very recently, truce brokers and negotiators all stands for a gain, as it were.
So where does Sheikh Gumi stand in all of these? Does his self given assignment an avenue to partake in the booty in this new and booming “business venture” of kidnap-for-ransom or a genuine move of a concerned Clergyman to establish peace within a traumatized people?
Why on earth would an acclaimed negotiator instigate the bandits against a certain section of the Army ( Christian soldiers) as the one killing them and not every other soldier? This is a way too far to get the job done. This is capable of causing disaffection among the rank and file of the Nigerian Army going forward.
Banditry should be condemned in all its ramifications and solution against it should be generally accepted by all regardless of religion or ethnic inclination. Crime and criminality has no natural selection capacity in its evil train. The Sheikh goofed this time and should be stopped in his tracks as such whimsicality must not be tolerated anymore.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online