The Oasis Reporters
October 23, 2023
MIDDLE BELT FORUM
The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has been drawn to a trending video clip by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, a Kaduna-based Islamic Cleric noted for making a case for killer herdsmen across the country and negotiating payment of ransom for the release of kidnapped victims.
We would have ignored Gumi’s outburst, but for the following cancerous interpretations deducible from the said video clips from other clerics also rendered in Hausa:
1 That it is wrong for a Christian infidel (arne) to be appointed Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
2 That the FCT belongs to the North therefore the Ministerial slot should be the exclusive preserve of the Muslim North.
3 That Muslims should not be comfortable with non-Muslims appointed to head the security agencies as they can’t be trusted to be fair to all groups.
It is noted that several other Muslim clerics have followed Sheik Gumi in spreading this vulgarity.
For purposes of clarity, the Middle Belt Forum, an organisation comprising the ethnic nationalities of the Middle Belt Region that stretches across the middle section of Nigeria, wishes to categorically state that the FCT is a part of the Middle Belt.
Also, the Middle Belt Forum serves the peoples of the Middle Belt who are multi-religious (Christian, Muslim and Traditional worshipers) living peacefully together. The FCT was originally inhabited by the Gbagyi people who were dislodged from their ancestral lands by the Nigerian State to create the Federal Capital Territory that Gumi and his gang are now laying claim to.
Gumi’s vulgarity is not just insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians, but a further display of the despicable arrogance associated with Gumi’s Fulani stock who have used state power to capture, manipulate and enthrone themselves over Nigeria and its resources.
We repeat that history is unequivocal that at no time were the Fulani aborigines (original inhabitants) of the FCT. This is documented and established by all verified historical narrations. The list of the ethnic configuration of the FCT in all known literatures does not include the Fulani as indigenous to the FCT.
Thus, the current noise by Gumi and his co-travellers is a failed attempt to stand history on its head.
As a Forum, we unambiguously condemn the messages contained in these trending video clips calling for the sack of Barr Nyesom Wike as the FCT Minister on account of his faith or where he hails from.
That such calls are coming from Islamic preachers is unfortunate and reflective of a nebulous and subtle agenda aimed at enthroning a State Religion on Nigeria.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should not allow these religiously inflamed remarks by these preachers to go unprobed.
Considering the roles Gumi played in promoting negotiation with agents of banditry and insurgency, he should be quickly reined in to checkmate his evil and capricious activities.
As for the issue of headship of security organizations, we all are mere survivors of the horrible results of the eight years of President Buhari when all security agencies were in the hands of Gumi’s Muslim stock.
In the face of their grim failure whereby the entire North-west, North-east and North-central zones became war zones and havens for kidnappers and criminal elements, it amounts to shameless drunkenness for Gumi to state that only Muslims have capacity to deal fairly with all groups in the country.
Indeed it is clear that Gumi and his band of followers are hell-bent on igniting the monster of bigotry in a nation that is already set on edge.
Of course, they are not happy that the evil eight years of Muhamadu Buhari’s nepotism and religious discrimination are over.
No country would survive a religious crisis of the magnitude Gumi and his gang are trying hard to plunge this country into.
His Excellency, President Tinubu must act quickly and punish elements determined to unleash ethnic and religious war on the people.
Our Muslims brothers, especially from the North, have always resisted the conduct of a census exercise to determine the actual number of people and their various religious/tribal inclinations in the North and in the Country at large.
The National Population Commission has been frustrated by the likes of Gumi not to conduct any credible Census because of the lucrative advantage the so-called North has in the lopsided skewed figures currently deployed in the Nigerian structure that gives them undue advantage over other parts of Nigeria.
Inflammatory statements like that of Gumi and his type will end if the Nation conducts a credible electronic census that will automatically RESTRUCTURE Nigeria.
It is our firm belief that a viable Census will end the tribal/religious acrimony often utilized by characters like Gumi to intimidate other Nigerians when advancing sectional ideals.
In times like this when the government is engaged in rescuing the country from the claws of insurgents and bandits, religiously divisive comments by preachers like Gumi is an attempt to throw the country into religious war.
The Forum wishes to reiterate that every Nigerian, irrespective of religious and ethnic affiliations, should enjoy the right to be appointed into public office. Wike is eminently qualified to be appointed into his present position as the FCT Minister. He does not represent any religion or ethnic group; he represents and works for the Nigerian people.
Those who are uncomfortable with his appointment should better wake up and smell the coffee and realize that the era when religion played the winning card is over.
It is characters like Gumi and his co-travellers that give oxygen to religious bigotry and endanger Nigeria’s unity. Wike is now the FCT Minister, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Gumi should be reminded that those who call for rain must remember that they, too, shall be wet when the rain finally falls.
DR POGU BITRUS
Sunday October 22, 2023