Banditry: Advocacy group urges DSS to arrest, quiz Gumi

A civil society organization – the Coalition for Peace In Nigeria (COPIN) – has called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, over alleged romance with bandits and terrorists.

According to COPIN, Gumi should ordinarily be a person of interest, considering his open fraternity with bandits and kidnappers threatening national security, as well as his persistent call on the Federal government to grant the terror elements amnesty.

Its National Coordinator, Mr. Emeka Akwuobi, and Hajiya Fatih Yakub, National Secretary, through a statement, argued that Gumi has a lot of explanations to offer on the activities of bandits, especially those operating within the North West general area.

While commending the secret service on the professional manner it has handled the arrest of an acclaimed kidnapped Abuja/Kaduna train passengers’ negotiator Tukur Mamu, the group insisted on the immediate arrest, interrogation and prosecution of the Islamic scholar.

“This is more so that Mamu, the bandits’ negotiator, is the undisputed spokesperson for the Kaduna-based influential Islamic cleric”, COPIN said in the statement.

The group further noted that apprehension of Gumi is fundamental to a peaceful election, considering the fact that he will provide the Service with credible/actionable intelligence on the actual locations, and modus operandi of the terrorists, culminating in their arrest.

The group threatened to organise a peaceful protest in Abuja, and other cities, should the intelligence agency fail to invite Gumi for interview.

The statement reads thus: “We have watched with keen interest the provocative tendencies of Sheikh Gumi, especially as they relate to the activities of bandits/terrorists operating within the the North West general area.”

“We note, with concern, Gumi’s call for grant of amnesty to terrorists, who have killed and maimed thousands of urarmed civilians, including women and children.

“Of particular interest is the kidnap of over one hundred Abuja/Kaduna train passengers by the terrorists in April this year, many of whom are still being held under terrible conditions.

“As a peace advocacy group, we condemn all these evil acts perpetrated by the terror group, and other enemies of state operating under whatever name, as we insist that nobody, or group has the right to take arms against the State, regardless of their grievances.

“Consequently, we demand the immediate arrest and interrogation of Gumi who, by now, should be a person of interest to all intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”

“We will not hesitate to mobilise for peaceful protests in strategic cities, including Abuja, if the DSS fail to invite the Islamic Cleric for interview on all he knows about bandits/terrorists holding the North West states, and parts of North Central, to ransom.”

“Finally, we wish to commend the DSS over the way and manner they have continued to handle Gumi’s spokesman and negotiator, Tukur Mamu, since he was returned to the country from Cairo, Egypt, last week.”

“We say the decision to approach a Federal High Court in Abuja for permission to hold him for a certain period, pending conclusion of investigation, shows that the DSS is a law-abiding agency”.

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