A civil society organisation, the Coalition for Peace In Nigeria (COPIN), has called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to, as a matter of urgent national importance, commence the investigation, and possible interview of a respected Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, over alleged knowledge of some suspected bandits.
According to COPIN, Gumi should ordinarily be an alleged person of interest, considering his alleged open knowledge of some bandits and kidnappers, whose activities are seen to pose threat to national security,.
According to the group, the reported call on the Federal Government to grant the bandits amnesty, is a thing of worry to members.
In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Pharmacist Emeka Akwuobi, and Hajiya Fatih Yakub National Secretary, the peace advocacy group said going by his comments so far, Sheikh Gumi may help provide useful leads to the suspected criminal elements.
The group, nonetheless, commended the secret service on the professional manner it has handled the arrest of an acclaimed kidnapped Abuja/Kaduna train passengers’ negotiator, Tukur Mamu.
“This is more so that Mamu, the bandits’ negotiator, is said to be the spokesperson for the Kaduna-based influential Islamic cleric,” COPIN said in the statement.
The statement reads in full: “We have noted with keen interest the statements (allegedly) credited to the respected Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Gumi, especially as they relate to his seeming knowledge of bandits/terrorists operating within the the North West general area.
“We note,with concern, Gumi’s alleged call for grant of amnesty to the bandits, who are reported to have killed and maimed hundreds of urarmed civilians, including women and children.
“Of particular interest is the kidnap of over one hundred Abuja/Kaduna train passengers by the terrorists in April this year, many of whom are still being held under terrible conditions.
“Consequently, we demand the immediate invitation for possible interview of Sheikh Gumi.
“Finally, we wish to commend the DSS over the way and manner they have continued to handle Gumi’s spokesman and negotiator, Tukur Mamu, since he was returned to the country from Cairo, Egypt, last week.
“We say the decision to approach a Federal High Court in Abuja for permission to hold him for a certain period, pending conclusion of investigation, shows that the DSS is a law-abiding agency.”