Sequel to the attack on a Kaduna-bound train by terrorists, a civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the Federal Government to arrest controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, who has persistently defended the atrocious activities of bandits and other deadly criminal elements in Northern Nigeria.
In a statement on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA argued that 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 States to hold discussion with the dreaded bandits turning the North-West zone to another place of sorrow, tears and blood.
The civil rights group also said it was not enough for the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), 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.
The group said 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.
HURIWA chided the Buhari regime for handling the worsening security situation in Kaduna and the rest of the country with kid’s gloves.
The group recalled that in an Interview dated February 14, 2021, Gumi exhaustively demanded amnesty for the bloodthirsty bandits and threatened that they were acquiring anti-aircraft missiles which was confirmed when the insurgents shot down a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet in Zamfara forest last July.
Amidst the increasing deadly activities of terrorists in Northern Nigeria especially, Kaduna, Onwubiko has called on security agencies to stop playing the tribal card and swiftly move to arrest Gumi for questioning.
He said, “Twice, moving trains were attacked by terrorists. Right now, terrorists are bombarding train stations in Kaduna. The airport in Kaduna which is rated as international was taken over by terrorists.
“Interestingly, President Buhari sees nothing wrong in maintaining his nepotistic appointments in all national security architectures made up of Northern Muslims and mostly Fulanis. The President is not perturbed about prison breaks and the fact that terrorists hitherto detained have largely escaped even as the same government releases terrorists of the Boko Haram genre under the guise of amnesty while these attacks keep heightening.
“The continuous granting of amnesty to terrorists is the cause of the increasing spate of terrorist attacks on Nigerians.
“It is altogether befuddling that Gumi, an alleged notorious bandits’ sympathiser, has been left to roam around freely negotiating with the terrorists and telling the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay the insurgents as seen in a PUNCH report dated May 5, 2021.
“Whereas, anybody associated with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu; and Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho; including those who made phone calls to them have been detained by the Department of State Services.
“The Buhari regime must be fair and put away ethnic sentiments. Gumi and those terrorists he was at a time defending vigorously should be clamped down on immediately by security agencies.
“Why is Buhari still keeping the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who was caught severally on tapes endorsing Islamic Jihadists and Taliban? Nigeria is in the brink and the President must act dispassionately as evil is emboldened in the face of tolerance.”
This is coming after terrorists bombed a Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday. At least eight out of the 398 passengers, who boarded the ill-fated train have been confirmed dead, while 28 are currently hospitalised and several others still unaccounted for.