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Gumi promoting banditry in northern Nigeria, CAN alleges, demands investigation of his activities

Access Bank

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, of emboldening bandits and their activities in northern Nigeria through his utterances and unholy dalliance with them.

Accordingly, the Christian body has demanded an investigation of the activities and intentions of Sheik Gumi by security agencies, expressing fears that the security challenges and banditry in northern region might not end soon as long as the Almajiri phenomenon continued unchecked.

Imo State CAN Chairman, Rev. Dr. Eches Divine Eches who stated these in an interview with journalists in Abuja ahead of its 45th anniversary and Founder’s Day scheduled for Friday in Owerri, Imo State, predicted that the rising insecurity in the north might consume the entire nation unless the government took more sincere measures towards checking the activities of these bandits that have been unleashing terror on the masses.

Advising the government to caution Sheik Gumi over utterances which, according to the CAN boss “have emboldened the bandits, thereby, promoting their inhumane acts in northern region”, he insisted that except drastic measures were put in place to curtail Almajiri phenomenon, banditry would remain in northern Nigeria for a very long time, with devastating effects on the socio-economic life of the people.

“You can’t have Almajiri system of life and government in the last 40 years in our nation bringing up people without any trace to families, hometowns or nationalities. These children are scattered all over the street, without you knowing that someday they would leave the street and go to the bush where they would begin to do the trade of kidnapping,” Eches lamented.

“Also, you can’t, in a sane nation, have the likes of Sheikh Gumi, a religious scholar, going about promoting banditry and you don’t think that this will continue. Yet, that is what we are seeing today. We are not seeing anything more than what we have planted.

“We allowed this thing (insecurity) to continue and it is now going to consume the nation, if drastic measures are not put in place to take them (Almajiri) out of the streets. Give them a sense of belonging, put them in school, and help them realize their potentials.

“These bandits were the Almajiri who used to be in front of our houses and begging. Howbeit, we are praying and that is why God is still sustaining our nation. I trust God will continue to sustain us in Jesus name.”

On the 45th anniversary, Eches said the programme was necessary because it provided opportunity to remember the labour of past heroes, including over 250 retired church leaders and indigent youth and women across the 27 LGAs in Imo State, who were weak and retired.

“We give kudos to the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who in his magnanimity provided and partnered with the church for the resources to get this done.

“They laboured to bring to bear what we are enjoying and working on today. We also thought it very necessary to remember the weak among us as most of them are passing through terrible times, especially in such a time as this in our nation.

“So, we thought it very important that we would use this 45th anniversary of our Founders’ Day to celebrate such a people and remember their labours, and say to them ‘you deserve to be celebrated’ both by cash and gift.”




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