The good people of Nigerian have heightened calls for the arrest of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Kaduna-based Islamic cleric who is pushing for blanket amnesty for bandits just as suspicion thickens about his true relationship with the criminals.
This is as many have revisited the cleric’s previous detention over alleged link with terrorist.
In 2010, Gumi was arrested and detained for over six months by the Saudi Arabian government for allegedly relating with Nigerian underwear bomber and terrorist, Farouk Abdulmutallab.
It was reported that Gumi was arrested in February 2010 in Mecca at the request of the United States government for exchanging e-mails with Abdulmutallab.
It was also learned that the Islamic cleric who is currently advocating for bandits in Nigeria to be granted amnesty and not called criminals after meeting them was arrested after the US security browsed through Abdulmutallab’s e-mail and found out that he corresponded with him shortly before he attempted to bomb a plane on December 25, 2009, in the US.
Gumi was first taken to Jeddah but was returned to Mecca and put under house arrest for many months before the intervention of the Nigerian government, SaharaReporters reports.
Abdulmutallab, 23, had unsuccessfully tried to denote a bomb wired to his underwear aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam that was about to land in Detriot, Michigan with 289 people on board.
The device failed, but the terrorist became enveloped in a fireball that spread to the wall and carpeting of the plane.
Four passengers quickly restrained him and helped put out the fire, witnesses said, and he was escorted up to the first-class section of the plane and taken into custody by US authorities when it landed.
US officials later said the terror group – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had helped foment the failed attack.
“I carried with me an explosive device to avenge the killing of innocent Muslims,” Abdulmutallab said in the statement, adding that the failed plot was in retaliation for “US tyranny and oppression of Muslims.”
He was sentenced to four life terms plus 50 years without parole on February 16, 2012.
If Those Who Caused Nigerian Civil War That Killed Millions Were Pardoned, Why Not Bandits -Sheikh Gumi Asks
Furthermore, Gumi, has doubled down on his call for blanket amnesty for bandits, saying if those who instigated civil war which took the lives of millions of people were pardoned why not bandits.
He also said for Nigeria to get out of banditry and achieve peace, the bandits must be forgiven.
Sheikh Gumi, a self-appointed peacemaker between the bandits and the government pointed out that “even those that instigated civil war, the civil war that millions of people died, were pardoned.
“I see no reason why we can not accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty.”
He further argued that: “You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.”
He continued that “if the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offenses in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.”
He made this known on Thursday in Kaduna while expressing his reservation over the statement made against him by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The Islamic scholar insisted that had not betrayed soldiers of Christian faith before the bandits when he visited them in the forests in Niger State.
According to him, he was misunderstood by CAN because the video that went viral about his discussion with the bandits was distorted and the actual message was manipulated.
Gumi explained: “These people in the bush who have taken arms, they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we can not accept their repentance.
“Since that is the bottle-neck and it is only the federal government that can give them that leverage.
“And strangely we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.
“Nigerians should embrace each other and live in peace. We should not try to do anything that will cause havoc. I will also call on the press to desist from sensational reporting because this nation is already in flames.
“You should be very careful in what you report. What you see. Continue reporting responsibly and you should not stir the Christian brethren who are known to be peaceful and law-abiding. We have been together for long and nobody can separate us, we should learn to live together in peace.”