Controversial Islamic cleric and Kaduna-based preacher Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has advised the next president of Nigeria not to follow the footsteps of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government in tackling banditry.
In a statement to journalists on Sunday, Gumi warned that if the next government follows the same trajectory as the present admission, it will lead to greater insurgency.
He stated that the recent BBC Africa Eye documentary and Daily Trust documentaries about the insurgency in Zamfara State had exposed the ethnic and tribal undertones as the real genesis of the decade mayhem the North Western region is experiencing as a whole.
The cleric said: “The crimes were committed by both sides of the divide, but unfortunately, the outside world sees one side as the only criminal, and thus the government acted in such a line of thinking, messing up the conflict and applying the wrong measures of communal conflict resolution.
“If the next President also follows the same trajectory thinking that the present government was only dealing with the criminals with kid gloves, then a greater insurgency will definitely ensue. It is taking almost 12 years to fight Boko Haram in the North East, with their leader only killed during a factional fight, not by our military action.
“And now, many BH are fortunately surrendering as a result of the genuine efforts of reconciliation and rehabilitation by the federal and state governments as demonstrated by action, not rhetoric. This, unfortunately, is irking some, especially the elite, as cajoling criminals. To them, anything short of annihilating them is no solution.”
Gumi said whoever succeeds Buhari should be wary of dishonest clergy who serve to polarise the nation more on the religious divide.
He stated that the next President needs to be intelligent and supported by men with acumen, not the ‘garagara’ person with an impulsive temperament after the praise of sentimental citizens.
Gumi said: “He has to act quickly and carefully. He has to centre his efforts and concentration inwards, not outside. I know a lot of our problems have roots in foreign interests, yet local problems must be solved locally.
“The President has to be careful of the dishonest clergy. Like mosquitoes, they feed on every system without adding any values except polarising the nation more on the religious divide. I cannot imagine a nation facing insurgencies left, right, and centre, yet the clergy would fold their arms without intermediating to see for conflict resolutions. Rather they are busy fuelling religious polarisation.”