The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on Thursday faulted agitations and calls for the arrest of a renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi.
Against speculations, the northern group said the Islamic scholar meant well for the nation and his constant meeting with bandits and terrorists is in the interest of Nigeria.
Naija News understands that NYCN was reacting to a statement issued earlier by the Coalition for Peace in Nigeria (COPIN), asking for Gumi’s arrest and prosecution.
COPIN through its National Coordinator, Emeka Akwuobi, and Secretary of the group, Fatih Yakub, alleged that Gumi’s romance with bandits and terrorists was the reason for their call to the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest, interrogate and prosecute the popular Islamic scholar.
The group criticized Gumi, stressing that he is working with bandits in the North and thereby causing unrest in the country.
Reacting, however, NYCN in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday by its National President, Isah Abubakar, warned COPIN to mind its statements.
Abubakar said the group should note that Sheikh Gumi’s interference was borne out of his desire to see his region and people enjoy security, and peace and to protect human dignity in Northern Nigeria.
He said: “Where bandits have taken over and have institutionalized authorities, to find a lasting solution to the activities of bandits in the region, the involvement of Gumi at the time he did was not with any bad intentions but rather to salvage our nation.”
According to the NYCN president, Gumi’s call for amnesty was part of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that has worked for other parts of the region and the world.
He noted that the Islamic cleric felt the same can be applied to discontinue the activities of bandits/terrorists in the North and North West.
Akwuobi And His Group Could Stir Religious Crisis In Nigeria
Abubakar further defended Gumi saying the cleric was not the first to call for such a move.
He recalled that the governors of Katsina, Aminu Bello Matsari and Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, have equally called for amnesty for bandits at different times.
NYCN observed that Akwuobi and his group with their statement could instigate a religious crisis in the country.
It also accused Akwuobi of working for some elements. The statement observed that the youths of Northern Nigeria remain resolute and supportive of every model that would be explored to bring an end to insecurity, but added that it would not tolerate any form of instigation against their leaders, especially the religious leaders.
The statement explained that it appreciated the effort of all security agencies to see that their region and highways return to normalcy for the safety of travellers and community inhabitants and promised security agencies of their support at all times.