Insecurity: Gumi Bombshell, Army Deploys Generals And Other Senior Officers To Tackle Banditry And Terrorism

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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’’.

Sheikh Gumi: Tackles Buhari

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’’.

Lt. Gen. Yahaya: CoAS

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.           

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