The investigation and subsequent arrest of controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, will end the spate of banditry in the North-West.
The National Inter-Faith Movement, which made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, also said Gumi must explain his relationship with the bandits, especially following the arrest of his media consultant and ally Tukur Mamu.
Mamu, a newspaper publisher, negotiated the release of some of the hostages in the March 2022 train abduction in Kaduna where large sums of money exchanged hands.
The alleged terrorist accomplice who was arrested at Cairo International Airport on his way to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj, was deported back and then picked up by the Department of States Services at the Kano International Airport.
Mamu is currently in court over alleged links to terrorism.
Commending the DSS for the arrest, the National Inter-Faith Movement said relative peace has returned to the North-West, especially the troubled Abuja-Kaduna expressway since Mamu was nabbed.
The group, in a statement signed by Rev. Amos Adah, it’s National President, however, urged the security agencies to go a step further to arrest Gumi.
According to Adah, the Kaduna-based cleric is Mamu’s boss, noting that the journalist may have been acting based on his instructions.
The Reverend said Gumi must explain to Nigerians his compassion for terrorists and state categorically how he has benefitted from insecurity.
Rev Adah said the controversial cleric’s provocative position after Mamu’s arrest again proved that he is a person of interest.
“We have followed with keen interest the investigation and arrest of Mamu by the DSS. We must say that this proves that our security agencies are working without many words. The DSS also acted timely to take Mamu to court,” Adah said.
“This is a smart move in the right direction. Any individual or group who has decided to unleash anguish on fellow humans must be made to pay. On behalf of other Christian leaders in Kaduna and the entire northwest who have suffered from bandits, we say thank you to the intelligence community.
” However, they must not rest on their oars. If there is evidence to tie down Mamu, certainly there will be more linked to his master, Gumi. Thus we charge our gallant officers to take the next brave step to arrest and prosecute Gumi.
“Gumi has never hidden his love for bandits, so much that he once called for amnesty. These are people who killed and maimed thousands of unarmed civilians; women and children including our family members.
“Consequently, we demand the immediate arrest and interrogation of Gumi who, by now, should be a person of interest to all intelligence and law enforcement agencies. He must tell Nigerians all he knows about the attack on the train which led to the death and kidnap of countless citizens from whom large sums were collected as ransom.
“Gumi is now weaponising falsehood to incite Islamic fanatics against the Nigerian state through his sermons in mosques. To divert the attention of the security agencies, he already constituted himself in a court of law to exonerate his mentee. The security agents must act fast”.