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Again, Sheik Gumi insists on amnesty for bandits



•Says no official pardon, no end to banditry •ACF, Afenifere, M’Belt Forum, Ohanaeze, Fani Kayode kick

By Sunday Ani and Seye Ojo, Ibadan

Nigerians, particularly ethnic nationality groups, have tackled controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, over his clamour for amnesty to bandits.

Sheik Gumi, yesterday, said bandits troubling the northern part of Nigeria “are going nowhere” restating the need for government to halt military actions and grant them amnesty.

The cleric, in a post on his known Facebook  titled “Zamfara: The flaring of crisis” said military action against criminal herdsmen and bandits would not solve the security challenge but “will only worsen the situation.”

The controversial Islamic preacher was reacting to the recent perceived military success over bandits at Zamfara forests.

“Now with the prodding of the government to take more military actions of an already ugly situation whereby they were left to amass weapons, a huge military budget that is almost draining the economy to a standstill in the purchase of fighter aircrafts and conducting military operations in the region has become to the authorities in their calculations a necessity.

“Unfortunately, this is no solution or wisdom. When you don’t have the monopoly of the instruments of violence, then dialogue has the monopoly of resolving the conflict. This is what the UN is all about. i.e., Roundtable resolution of conflicts. What we are seeing is more than just criminals and criminality, yes it may have started as such but like any conflict, it is dynamic.

“The danger we face now is ideological demagogues changing the narrative. They are trying hard to infiltrate the herdsmen. And we know their objectives. They want to destroy all modern governments by fighting the military and now in the recent cajoling of local populations, they have tormented before to join them in the struggle.

“Let us face the reality, these herdsmen are going nowhere, and they are already in battle gear, and we know our Military very well, so before things get messy, we need cold brains to handle this delicate situation. Its common sense that if you allow your neighbors to be your enemy you are already conquered. Because they can easily be used against you by other forces as we see now the herdsmen are ultimately used to destabilize the region, pauperize and even depopulate it.

“Military actions in the past have worsen the situation stimulating herdsmen resistance. Any more action will push them closer to religious fanaticism. It gives them protection from discrediting them as thieves and also reinforce their mobilisation of gullible young unemployed youth as we saw with BH.

“I have met many of the bandit leaders to see a way out of this gridlock. I have talked to the political class and security agents. Except for an exception, most state governors want a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Police and other security outfits have also realized the enormity of the problem. But, unfortunately, the presidency for what appears to be political gullibility and the military for budgetary reasons as they are the most beneficiary of conflicts of this nature doesn’t seem to be on the same page.

“This conflict can be resolved by active engagement of the government with the agitators. Just as we saw how EndSAR agitation was swiftly managed after an initial scandalous failed military confrontation, was peacefully resolved by the government, likewise, the herdsmen crisis can be.

“Just as we had the Niger Delta conflict resolved with an amnesty which comes with reconciliation, reparation, and rehabilitation packages, so will the herdsmen crisis be resolved. In fact, there is a need for a Marshal plan to educate the nomadic pastoralist so that no citizen is left behind.”

“These measures I enumerated are cheaper, easier, and lasting than the kinetic approach which is now taking place. No military especially of a poor economy can win guerrilla warfare. The recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a factual warning for those that contemplate.”

However, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, disagreed with Gumi saying there was no basis to grant amnesty to faceless criminals like bandits.

“Boko Haram is an organised ideological movement but bandits are not organised. They are pure criminals. It is only when you have them organised that you can even talk about amnesty. When you talk about an amorphous group, you can’t be talking about amnesty.”

He maintained that anybody talking about amnesty for bandits is only trying to create entirely a new terrorist group. By the time Gumi’s idea prevails, he would have created a new ideological body in banditry, so his suggestion is very dangerous. He is now instigating them to form themselves into an ideological group that can now begin to bargain with the political system. It is unfortunate that Gumi is trying to create that kind of movement again when we already have enough terrorist organisations at hand,” he said.

Similarly, president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, said nobody that carried arms against the state should be granted amnesty.

“I wouldn’t know what informed Gumi’s argument, but for me, I have always been against amnesty of any kind. Even before Yar’Adua offered amnesty to the Niger Delta boys, I am one of those voices in the north that opposed it on the ground that you don’t do that because when you do, every idiot will take up arms and begin to demand for amnesty.

“All of us could have at the end of the day taken up arms and gone into the forest to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians but we decided to be law abiding. So, there is no excuse for banditry. They should be dealt with according to the law otherwise; even the armed robbers in prisons should also be granted amnesty. Only Gumi knows why he is saying what is saying but for me, anybody who has taken up arms against the state should be punished according to the law.”

Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said the Federal Government has not been decisive in tackling banditry, kidnapping and insecurity in the country.

He regretted that Gumi was advocating clemency and amnesty for criminals when the security situation in the country was getting worse. Ajayi said the apex socio-cultural organisation was not in support of Gumi’s call for amnesty for bandits and urged the Federal Government not to listen to him.

President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Pogu Bitrus, believes that the whole idea about banditry is a big conspiracy.

“The military is not willing to deal with bandits. When you know the location of the bandits and you can’t bomb them out of the place but want to negotiate and grant amnesty to them; it is the conspirators within the system that are doing this.”

He claimed that some people were protecting bandits so that they could achieve what they want to achieve.

“It is simply a conspiracy and stopping the military from doing their job. Since the acquisition of the Tucano Jet fighters, what have the military done with that? The issue is that there is no political will to solve the problem. There are people protecting the bandits and stopping the military from doing their job,” he submitted.

Reacting, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, told Sheik Gumi not to compare Niger Delta militants to bandits as the latter does not rape or abduct children from schools.

On his Twitter page, he wrote: “ For Gumi to say that the killer bandits & terrorists are not going anywhere unless and until they are given amnesty like the Niger Delta militants is asinine and unacceptable. The Niger Delta militants did not target, rape, kill women and they did not abduct children from their schools.”

  • Those behind Nigeria’s woes’ll incur God’s anger –Bishop Oke

The Presiding Bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, Oyo State, Bishop Wale Oke, has warned those working against the progress and stability of Nigeria to desist from their nefarious activities in order  to avoid the wrath of God.

He gave the warning at the grand finale of the 39th Annual Holy Ghost Convention of the ministry held at the PCU Campus, Garden of Victory, Ibadan.

Oke, who is also the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigerian (PFN), noted: “There are wicked people in this country, who God will deal with unless they repent. Their activities have led to the sufferings of many Nigerians and have put the nation in needless jeopardy.”

He, however, encouraged Nigerians not to entertain fear about the corporate existence of the country, saying the nation would survive in spite of the socio-economic and political challenges, besetting its progress.

“Nigeria will survive. Nigeria will prevail. There are people, who are troubling Nigeria and unless they repent, God will deal with them,” Oke stated.

The convention featured, among other things, ordination of pastors, deacons and deaconesses, elders and ministers, numbering about 200.



Saudi Explains Why Lightning Can Only Strike Crescent Moon on Holy Mosque’s Towers



The Holy Mosque in Saudi (Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al-Nabawi) has explained in a tweet on Sunday night why lighting only strikes the Crescent Moon on the clock tower.

The mosque, through its handle @theholymosques stated that the lightning only strikes the crescent on the clock tower because of the Makkah clock which consists of 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from lightning.


“The lightning only strikes the crescent moon on top of the clock tower because the Makkah clock contains 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from the lightning.”
The Holy Mosque attracts millions of worshippers annually.

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El-Rufai: Not Even My Corpse Will Be Found Near PDP



Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said he can never decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

El-Rufai said this while reacting to claim of Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of PDP presidential campaign, that he would soon dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a tweet, Bwala who until recently was a member of the APC, said he was optimistic that El-Rufai would be in the PDP even before the 2023 elections.


“My attention was drawn to @elrufai laughing at a comment made about me on my past video. Hmm @elrufai is one of the finest we have from the north, I will never join issues with him, especially because I am optimistic he will be with us before the 2023 elections,” he tweeted.

Reacting, El-Rufai quoted the tweet and wrote: “Thanks @BwalaDaniel but no, thanks. Never ever, not even my corpse will be found in the vicinities of your new-found political party. I still dey laugh!!! – @elrufai.”

Bwala recently announced his resignation from the ruling APC to the PDP over the decision of former presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Before decamping, Bwala made a lot of TV appearances where he harshly criticised the opposition PDP, his new party.

Just last week, he was appointed alongside a former federal lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, as spokesperson of the Atiku Presidential Campaign for next year’s elections.

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Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7



A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.

The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.

Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.

“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.

Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.

The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.

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