In an ethnoreligious charge to northern Muslims, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi says Christians should not be allowed to be president in Nigeria, claiming Christians perpetrate injustice, and kill Muslims whenever they are in power.
“During the (Muhammadu) Buhari presidency, a certain Christian cleric complained that Muslim officers were appointed heads of security organisations. My response was that Muslims would not use that as an advantage to maltreat anyone whether they’re Muslims or non-Muslims. In contrast, if they (Christians) are occupying those positions, they’ll destroy us,” Mr Gumi said.
Mr Gumi made the statement in a viral video of his sermon in which he reacted to rumours that Nyesom Wike, FCT minister, plans to demolish part of Abuja Central Mosque.
Speaking in Hausa, Mr Gumi justified former President Muhammadu Buhari’s nepotism that saw almost all security agencies headed by Muslims, saying Muslims’ nepotism does no harm to anyone.
He added that “there was an element of nepotism under Buhari, I reckon. But our (Muslim) nepotism is not evil (wicked) because it does no harm to anyone. If it cannot promote your interest, it won’t harm it either; here is the difference. That’s why I keep warning that power should not slip from our hands into theirs.
Mr Gumi, a retired solider, portrayed various military coups that claimed the lives of some northern Muslims like Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first Nigerian Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, former military head of state Murtala Muhammed, as a religious war led by Christians against Muslims but ignored the July 1966 coup that counters his extremist’s stance.
“Check the history, who murdered Sardauna (Sir Ahmadu Bello)? It was (Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna) Nzeogwu. Who murdered Murtala (Muhammed)? It was (Lt. Col. Buka) Dimka. As for (Ibrahim) Babangida, he narrowly escaped death; who was his aggressor? (Gideon) Orkar, a northern Christian. You see, once you give these people power, they’ll use it to destroy you,” Mr Gumi said.
“Again, let me repeat, as I said earlier, I replied to the Christian cleric that whether Muslim officers dominate all the security services, they don’t perpetrate injustice like the Christian officers; because they murdered Sardauna, Tafawa Balewa, Murtala, etc. In contrast, tell me which Christian leader was killed by Muslims. Yet they kept blabbing about Buhari’s so-called nepotism.”
According to Mr Gumi, sometime back during the Goodluck Jonathan era, I was invited to the SSS headquarters for a meeting; I met an officer who afterwards called to inform me that a hit squad, driving a certain Mercedes Benz 4matic model was detailed to attack me. They were instructed to go and hit Sheik Gumi.
The spokesperson for the SSS, Peter Afunnaya, declined Peoples Gazette’s request for comments on Mr Gumi’s remarks. A WhatsApp message sent to Mr Afunnaya was read, but he has yet to respond.
Northern Nigeria has been rocked by several ethnoreligious skirmishes that claimed many lives. Inciting statements from popular and influential religious figures like Mr Gumi could further damage the relative peace returning to a region ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr Gumi’s inciting comment could further polarise the country along religious lines, promoting religious intolerance among Nigerians.