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I was neither invited nor arrested by DSS ~Gumi

By Odira Nwachukwu

The controversial Kaduna based Islamic Cleric Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, had debunked rumours of his arrest by the DSS. The fiery cleric said “I was neither invited nor arrested by DSS”.

Speaking to Channels Television after presiding over a Jummat service at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna State on Friday, Sheikh Gumi said all his interventions with bandits inside the forest were done in collaboration with the support of the government and security agencies, hence he did not commit any offence.

“Nobody Invited me for questioning or any arrest, I can say that categorically,” the Sheik said, adding, “since I ventured into the forest, I went there with full security, the police, with the knowledge of the DSS, traditional rulers and the Fulani leaders, I never went alone”.

He also denied making any disparaging remarks against the military during his recent live interview on Arise television.

According to him, there was nowhere in the TV interview that he categorically accused the entire military of colluding with bandits.

The DSS had earlier on Friday said it invited the cleric for questioning.

“Sheikh Gumi was invited by the Service,” the service’s spokesman, Peter Afunaya, said in a response to a Channels Television enquiry.

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The spokesman added that “it is not out of place for it to invite any person of interest.”

Although the DSS did not confirm the rationale behind the invitation, it may not be unconnected to the Sheikh’s recent interview with the crew of Arise TV where he alleged that the military are supplying weapons to the bandits.

The cleric believes that amnesty should be extended to bandits, who he says have been ‘forced’ into criminality due to, in part, government neglect, he claimed that the bandits too are victims of bad governance.

“When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know,” Sheikh Gumi said in an interview with Channels Television last February.

The cleric said that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.

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