Nigerians have reacted over a controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi taken a team of medical personnel to the forests in Kogi State where they offered medical services to Fulani herdsmen and their families.
Newsflash Nigeria understands that Ahmad Gumi, a trained medical doctor and retired Army captain alongside his entourage, undertakes medical outreach to herdsmen in the forest at the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, in Kogi State
Gumi, who recently established a school for the herdsmen in a Kaduna forest, is at the forefront of advocacy of positive engagement with the bandits who many believe comprised of majorly, Fulani elements.
The renowned Islamic scholar is vehemently against the kinetic approach adopted by the authorities against the bandits, insisting that they were victims of neglect over the years and providing them with basic infrastructure through subtle diplomacy could change their attitude and savage character for good.
A statement made available to Newsflash Nigeria by Malam Tukur Mamu, spokesperson of Sheikh Gumi, reads:
“Barely one week after commissioning a school for Fulani herders and other settlers in the strategic Kagarko Game Reserve, Kaduna (where it used to be a centre for organizing operations by bandits), renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dr Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi has yet again led a team of Islamic preachers and medical team to another strategic Fulani settlement called Rugan Ardo Zubairu Okebukun in Ayangban Grazing Reserve, in Yagba Local Government Area of Kogi State.”
“The Sheikh who went with journalists to see things for themselves left Kaduna on Monday with an entourage of more than 40 people and a fully equipped medical van for the purpose of providing medical support to Fulani victims of violence that were forced to relocate from South East due to consistent attacks on them by IPOB members”.
“The medical outreach van is fully air-conditioned with enough space for consultation, bed for observation, space for drugs, pharmacist, nurses, doctor and a small unit for emergency delivery for pregnant women and even CS surgery in case of such emergency.”
“Gumi’s choice of Kogi this time around to offer medical support to mainly Fulanis that are victims of violence with his highly committed team is largely due to the alarming number of such victims that were forced to relocate from the South East and South West to Kogi State and to appreciate the Kogi State Government for welcoming them to the state and for allowing them to freely decide where to settle down in parts of the state.”
“Some of the members of the team in the entourage of the Saudi trained scholar in Islamic jurisprudence includes Malam Tukur Mamu (Dan Iyan Fika), the publisher of DESERT HERALD Newspaper, former Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf who is leading the highly organize medical team, Col Sambo Diri Mni Rtd, Sheikh Sanusi Khutama, Malam Nasiru Ayuba, Sheikh Nuhu Al Hafiz, Malam Auwal Jika Mai Waina, Sheikh Isah Abdullahi Adarkake, Malam Sanusi Malumfashi.”
“In the opening speech, the spokesman of Sultan Bello Mosque urged the Fulanis in the Ruga to embrace western education as well as Islamic education while eschewing violence or any form of banditry.”
“He also told them that the team is here for medical outreach and to treat the Fulanis and any other tribe or religion that are in need of medical attention.”
“Welcoming the team, Ardo Zubairu appreciated Dr Ahmad Gumi and his team for coming to the aid of the Fulanis.
He also added that the Fulanis in the settlement have embarked on the educational quest for many of its’ members as some of them have obtained both BSCs and MSc.”
“He also added that the settlement of Ayangban Grazing Reserve traced its history to the time of the late Premier of the defunct Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello and that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has since approved for it for gazetting as a reserve for the herdsmen.”
“He also revealed that there are facilities like borehole, a primary health centre that was provided by the late Premier but is now in bad condition.
“He thanked Sheikh Ahmad Gumi who he described as an ‘Army of One’ who is largely sponsoring activities for intervention for the Fulani and said even when virtually everybody is accusing the Fulanis as a whole of banditry that affects many parts of the North, Sheikh Gumi even at the risk of his life remains the only Nigerian searching for solutions and even visiting dangerous forests and reaching out and preaching for them to renounce violence.”
“The Head of the reserve, Ardo Zubairu thanked Gumi and his team and urged him to help build schools as the settlement do not have one.”
“Speaking on the occasion, Prof Yusuf Usman said that they embarked on this mission in order to sensitize the Fulanis on the merit of acquiring western education and to make sure that Fulanis eschew violence and other acts of banditry.”
“Usman further stressed that he won’t abandon the herdsmen no matter what but at the same time they would continue to admonish and advice the herdsmen anywhere they went wrong.”
“Sheikh Sanusi Khutama said Fulanis are known for peace and that they should continue to educate their subjects about the need to renounce all acts of criminality as it is against Islam and the laws of the land.”
“Sheikh Khutama commended Shiekh Gumi for his efforts to ensure that peace reign and that the Fulanis are fully integrated into the society.”
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“Speaking further, Mamu Tukur, (Dan Iya of Fika), stressed that we should know the importance of such patriotic visit to communities that are suffering from various humanitarian crises and emphasized the need to assist them as a means of pacifying the few aggrieved ones amongst them to stop the acts of criminality that has today caused untold hardship to our people.”
” He said Sheikh Gumi’s initiative for the medical outreach is so far the first of its type to largely Fulani settlers that are victims of violence and other forms of terror. Mamu said the government should invest in addressing the genuine grievances of the Fulanis instead of wasting billions of naira in buying arms which he said will never succeed in ending the security threats associated with Fulani banditry.”
“The Dan-Iya Fika said if America will leave Afghanistan after nearly two decades of fighting similar type of war without success and resort to dialogue with the Taliban, Nigeria with poor intelligence capabilities and corruption in military spending cannot win such a war even if they will spend the next 50 years. He said even the 1st and 2nd World Wars as they are fighting, negotiation and mediation was taken place.”
“He maintained that Sheikh Gumi’s team was there is to educate the children of the herdsmen and to support them with medical facilities and treatment of minor sicknesses.”
” He said when Government support this peace initiative and work with other relevant stakeholders all these things will come to an end “
“Mamu also called on Government to appreciate the sacrifices of Sheikh Gumi and to support him in his efforts to end banditry. “
“The Fulanis have been neglected for over fifty decades. They don’t even know if government exist and worse still they have been dispossessed of their cows through cattle rustling and other acts of official extortion. Government must get to the genesis of this insecurity and ensure justice to all as the only means of ending it not by firepower. It won’t work”.
“The Military approach has not yielded results. Instead of wasting billions on a conduit-pipe called security votes they should empower the Fulanis economically, educate them, provide them medical facilities such as clinics, support the raring of their cows and provide them with other basic amenities”.
‘The Gumi team will deploy more medical personnel to the dedicated Ruga centre that will serve as a medical outreach to all those that needs medical intervention particularly Fulanis that were forced to relocate from the South.”
“The medical services according to Sheikh Gumi was being supported by Dialogue Group of Companies, owners of Dialogue Pharmacy in Kaduna which is owned by a philanthropist, Dr Mahdi Shehu.”
“In his speech during the official launching of the medical outreach initiative, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has commended the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello for allowing the displaced Fulani herdsmen to resettle in the state without molestation.”
“He thanked the Governor for allowing the Fulanis their constitutional rights as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to leave anywhere they want to. He said it is unacceptable for few citizens in the South that are enjoying the freedom of movement in the North to deny such rights to the Fulanis in any part of the South.”
“The constitution of the country states that every Nigerian can live in any part of the country without being molested but nowadays, which Governor enforces such right? Very few of them and Governor Yahaya is one of them. We commend him”.
“It is only Governor Yahaya Bello that has done that and we thank him”, Gumi said.
He called on other governors to follow the steps of their Kogi State counterparts.
He further argued that not all Fulanis herdsmen are terrorists or violent persons. He said over 99 per cent of herdsmen are peaceful and doing their job of herding livestock peacefully.
“Because of the activities of 1 per cent of herdsmen, you can’t label all Fulani herdsmen as terrorists”, he added.
He revealed that the Sheik Abubakar Gumi Foundation in conjunction with the Sultan Bello Mosque Foundation, Dialogue Pharmacy and Victims of Violence Charity Foundation has brought a mobile clinic to the Rugan Ardo Zubairu community in Kogi State so that the members of the community can get free medical attention.
He also revealed that the Ahmad Gumi medical team would be working in conjunction with Doctors Without Borders, the State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health in order to get the much needed medical assistance to the people.
He also set up a committee that would see to the day to activities of the Mobile clinic.
The Sheikh also announced the formation of the Fulani Rights Concern as a body that would unify all the 30 Fulani umbrella bodies and provide assistance to any Fulani.
“I am here to tell you that the Fulani Rights Concern has been registered and it is to co-ordinate the activities of the over 30 other Fulani groups in rendering assistance to all herdsmen.
Sheikh Gumi further explained the purpose of his mission as thus to include:-
Da’awah and Medical outreach in Ardo Zubairu Rugga at Kabba, Kogi State.
Objectives: Preaching the pristine message of Islam for peace and shunning evil.
Medical Assistance to the less privileged of the society. Cementing the bond of cordial relationship between indigenous people and settlers. Showing the authorities and philanthropists another alternative to violence in solving socio-economic problems bedevilling the nation.
See the photos:
Meanwhile, Nigerians on social media have reacted to the Gumi gestures given to Fulani herdsmen in the forests:
@Lovey Dovey, “And FG opened their eye widely & allowed this disgusting Islamic terrorist to be doing this nonsense, honestly shame on this incompetent FG & it’s an agent like army, police, DSS including those rubber-stamped senate & reps”
@Aturu Sunday, “Am confused about these one called clerics. I don’t even know the meaning of clerics anymore”.
@Abdullateef Ahmad Tijjani Olooyo, “Nigeria the funniest country in the world!”
@Izokpu Anetor Dennis, “Nigeria security agencies do not know their location but Minister for terrorist consultation knows. Last last una go get sense”
@athaboi(f): “This one is on a mission with bandits! Let’s see as it unfolds….why must they have their own community in the forest? Can’t they love among the people? Graze their cattle and return home? So their own community should be built for them in the forest? So government should increase their budget, build for Normal community and build for bandits in the forest? I hate what Nigeria is becoming”.
@Ammishaddai: “This country keeps getting crazier by the day. So Gumi is now focusing his efforts on treating killers and bandits but neglecting his own people who have been victims of herdsmen attacks? This is the proper definition of misplaced priorities.
@Crusadee: “Herdsmen are not terrorists or bandits, they are just cow rearers get that to your skull”.
@Emuforlife1: “I commend you for this Sheikh. However, you need to tone down on your clout chasing”.
@Maj196(m): “Minister for Bandits Affairs is really doing his job well as directed by Buhari”.
@Adrian98(m): ”I believe there are northerners and Muslims here reading this post. I’ll love to get your opinions on how things are going with this Gumi man and this whole bandit and herdsmen thing. Please speak freely with an open mind and do not attack any other tribe. Thank you I’ll be expecting
@nairaman66(m): “Gumi has been empowered by the government! Just keep quiet, and listen to Gumi rhetorics over again!
*Herdsmen should be compensated
*Herdsmen should be allowed to move freely
*Engaging herdsmen with the military will be counterproductive
*Builds hospital and school for them
If you think one Nigeria lives, then you are dead!”