By Suleiman Umaru
Sheikh Gumi, a Muslim Cleric and self-appointed mediator between government, families of abducted victims and Bandits Group, operating in the north west geo-political region appears to have fallen out with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration that he could have the audacity to open up on why the country’s security challenges are getting worse on a daily basis.
Gumi , the Muslim Cleric, had said that the Buhari Administration’s ‘’wrong approach to tackling the cisis which had spread to different parts of the country has become a’’ lucrative business for the criminal elements and few in the position of Authority’’.
His worry was that the Katsina state born Nigerian President who has been holding series of meetings with the service Chiefs in the recent time on how to crush the Bandits and Terrorists threatening the peace of the country over the last seven years is only trying ‘’ to find a scapegoat to justify his Administration’s failure after wasting $16 billion without any commensurate result on security ‘’.
The question on the lips of most people was: How did the popular Muslim cleric and Tukur Manu, his Media Aide, whom many believe has direct link with the Bandits Group Leadership and Commanders , knew that the government over the last seven years had spent $16 billion to battle Banditry in the country if there are no moles in the government giving him information.
Lai Mohammed, minister of Informaion and Culture, may have added a new dimension to the crisis when he said that ‘’ the BBC and Daily Trust, a Nigerian based Media outfit will face the consequences for ‘’glorify Banditory and terrorism in their reporting’’.
Gumi , may not have found the minister’s emotional outburst funny as he had described it as an ‘’attempt by the government to cover its failure and divert public scrutiny into the high-level corruption in the country’s military spending and budgetary allocations between 2015 and now’’.
He had said that’’ what is happening in the north west states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, and Katsina, Buhari home state and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General, and former Nigerian military President is more of an ethnic war and repeal killings and attacks due to the government’s failure to address a well-documented instances of injustices that were initially done to the Fulanis’’.
The Muslim Cleric position clearly shows that he supports the activities of Bandits which is gradually spreading to the southern Nigerian when he asked ‘’what Nigerians should have expected from such a society that has left a total ignorance and lack of education , particular when their primary source of income, cattle, has been completely rustled by other criminal elements within and outside the country’s security agencies without any effort by the government to address the injustice’’.
He noted that many of the Law-abiding Fulanis who have fallen victim to the official extortion of their cows, could no longer take it, stressing that he has a ‘’well-documented evidence involving some security agents who were involved in the cattle rustling in which he had personally intervened’’.
He asserted that ‘’there is no way the government can effectively address the security challenges facing the country, that is related to the Fulani bandits without the Authorities addressing such instances of extortion and rustling’’.
He has told those that cares to listen including the security and intelligence agencies that ‘’BokoHaram and ISWAP, have infiltrated the ranks of the Fulani Bandits and that the armed Bandits are gradually being indoctrinated to their religious belief and mission’’ which had made the frightening development in the north west, worse.
He will want the Nigerian government to hold Tukur Brutai , a retired Army General and a former Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, and other service Chiefs, during Buhari’s first term in office security and the current service and Intelligence Chiefs responsible for their failure ‘’to crush the Bandits and their BokoHaram and ISWAP Collaborators’’ despite the billions of dollars spent to train them on modern acts of war and procure weapons and fighter Jets for their operations.
An aggrieved Gumi, had said that for Buhari, the Commander –In-Chif,C-In-C, of the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria, ‘’ to have rewarded failure with Ambassadorial appointments in a system and a society that had recorded increased Banditry and terrorism attacks in the, when the security agencies cannot even protect lives and property, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, speaks volume.
He had said that ’’ if the Guards Brigade which are expected to protect the FCT, and the President could not protect themselves, , how would they protect the President’’. Recall the armed Bandits and their Ansaru Group, a breakaway faction of BokoHaram and ISWAP, HD threatened to kidnap Buhari, the Nigerian President and El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, which Mohammed, the minister of Information and Culture had described as ‘’Laughable’’ .
The Army Authorities may have known that the game is up and that the Bandits and their North east BokoHaram and ISWAP Collaborators, are up to something that they have quickly introduced fresh blood at the General Officers Commanding, GOC, level, Corps Commanders, Commandants of Training Institutions, Brigade Commanders and other Commanding Officers.
But the question being asked in both official and unofficial circles was whether: the deployment of the Generals and other senior officers is the new strategy that have been adopted by the Army in this last lap of the Buhari Administration ‘’to tackle Banditry and Terrorism in the country’’.
Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff , CoAS, was said to have directed all the newly appointed senior Officers ‘’to redouble their effort and commitment in tackling the security challenges bedeviling the nation as they report in their new offices’’. The message was very clear that he will not hesitate to drop anyone of them who fails to perform in the discharge of his duties to ensure that the Bandits and Terrorists were crushed as directed by the President.
While Lt. General, Yahaya, the CoAS, had made some changes at the Army Commanding Level to strengthen Army operations, in the various theatres, both in the north west, and north east political regions as well as other parts of the country, the Bandits and their Ansaru Group Collabortors on Thursday, July 28, 20222 were said to have attacked a military checkpoint in Zuma Rock Madalla, along the Abuja-Kaduna High Way, being the access route to the Criminal elements hideout in the forest, sending a signal to the Army that they are ready for them.
The Army who are yet to recover from the attacks on the 7 Guards Brigade on Monday July, July 25, 2022 and the Army checkpoint at the Abuja- Kaduna Highway by Bandits and the Ansaru Group on Thursday, July 28, 2022, may have forced the 7 Guards Battalion and 167 Special Forces Battalion in Collaboration with the air Component of Operation Whirl Punch between Sunday, July 24, 2022, and Tuesday, July 26 2022, were said to have killed about 30 terrorists and their enclave and hideouts destroyed in Kawu and Ido villages in Kaduna state. The Troops were said to have recovered six motorcycles, two AK47 Rifles, one fully LMG, Magazine and other items from the Fleeing Bandits and terrorists.
Given the worsening security situation in the country, Senators from the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other parties on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, gave Buhari , C-In-C and Chairman, Nigerian security Council, NSC, a six week ultimatum to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the country or be impeached.
Senator Elish Abbo, from Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian Vice President and the PDP, Presidential Candidate, for the 2023, general elections, home state, and member of the ruling All Progressive Party, APC, has backed the PDP Causes call for’’ the impeachment of Buhari for failing in his Constitutional responsibility to protect Lives and Property in the country’’.
Philip Aduda, the Senate Minority Leader had asked Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President ‘’to discuss the country’s security situation and President Buhari’s impeachment last Tuesday. The Senate President was said to have ignored Senator Aduda request for discussion of his motion on the floor of the Senate claiming that the point of Order he raised’’ fell flat on its face’’ , forcing the Opposition parties Senators to stage a Walkout, leaving only the APC , Senators while the plenary was ongoing.
The Minority of the House of Representatives were said to have also taken a cue from their counterparts in the Senate to issue a six-wek ultimatium to the Nigerian President ‘’to fix the nation’s security challenges. The Minority PP Senate cacus plot to impeach Buhari due to the country’s worsening security situation appears to have polarized the National Assembly along religious lines: Christians and Muslims.
Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and APC, Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections should be blamed for it for picking Kashim Ibrahim, a former governor of Borno state and a another Muslim as the party Vice Presidential Candidate, instead of a Christian, to give them a sense of belong. Indeed, what is happening in the name had given an insight of how the voting would be in the 2023, general elections.