THE Pan Niger Delta Forum has criticised renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, for referring to killer herdsmen and bandits as militants fighting for ethnic survival, describing the cleric’s position as annoying.
PANDEF expressed surprise that Gumi had the effrontery to say that killer herdsmen and murderous bandits should not be referred to as criminals.
The National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Mr. Ken Robinson, in a statement on Tuesday, said, “It is unfortunate that the nation should be hearing one absurd statement or the other from this man every day.
“It is high time that the media stopped giving him attention. He is nothing other than an eccentric bigot dressed in cleric's toga. It is vexing that he would have the effrontery to say killer herdsmen and the murderous bandits should not be referred to as criminals but militants fighting an ethnic war and fighting for their existence.
“What nonsense? In a hitherto illustrious country reduced to almost a Lilliputian Republic by a Fulani president. Recall that this same Gumi said the Federal Government is aware of the locations of these bandits terrorising citizens, and even went on to blatantly demand amnesty for the bandits.
“Nigeria has never experienced the kind of nepotism and prejudice being perpetrated under the Buhari administration. Oil blocks and marginal fields in the Niger Delta have ever been mostly exploited by northerners. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has become a grazing ground for a few.”
Robinson called on Nigerians to be on alert over Gumi’s statement, lamenting that the current regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had continued to play deaf and dumb to the concerns of well-meaning Nigerians in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
He added, “In the face of these irking circumstances, a so-called Sheikh Gumi could imagine asserting that killer herders and bandits are fighting for their ethnic survival. It then becomes necessary to reckon that the rest of Nigeria needs to be on the alert.”