A former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has slammed controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi over his recent comments on Christians.
Among other statements many Nigerians have described as inciting, Gumi said, unlike northern Muslims, Christians cannot be trusted with power and guns.
The cleric also called on President Bola Tinubu to remove Nyesom Wike from office as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), saying he planned to use Israelis to redesign the security architecture of Abuja.
SaharaReporters reported on Thursday that Gumi in a video sermon of over 14 minutes posted on his official Facebook page, labelled Wike as devil incarnate.
He said that “whether Muslim officers dominate all the security services, they don’t perpetrate injustice like the Christian officers; because they murdered Sardauna, Tafawa Balewa, Murtala, etc.”
“In contrast, tell me which Christian leader was killed by Muslims. Yet they kept blabbing about Buhari’s so-called nepotism. There was an element of nepotism under Buhari, I reckon.
“But our (Muslim) nepotism is not evil (wicked) because it does no harm to anyone. If it cannot promote your interest, it won’t harm it either; here is the difference. That’s why I keep warning that power should not slip from our hands into theirs,” he had said among other things.
The sermon has since elicited angry reactions mainly from Southern Nigerian Christians.
Fani-Kayode, the former Director of Special Media Projects, Special Media Operations and New Media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, in an audio released on Sunday, called on security agencies to invite Gumi for questioning and possible prosecution for incitement and attempt to destabilise the country.
He vowed that “Christians in Nigeria cannot bow to anybody, and neither will any rational, reasonable Muslims bow to this side of terroristic rhetoric of Sheikh Gumi”.
The chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) reminded Gumi that his father died shortly after vowing that he would not be alive to see a Christian become Nigeria’s president.
He stated: “I am not too concerned about the rantings of this little monkey against the government because there are many people that are in government that are paid to respond to him and handle that and I am not in government.
“However, I am concerned about his rantings against Christian community and what I believe is southerners generally – both Christians and Muslims, that is how I am reading all he has said.
“He has said Christians cannot be trusted with power because when in power, and when they are in control of guns or when they are in power, they people – they kill leaders and followers whereas the Muslims do not. But let me ask these questions: was it the Christians that slaughtered over 150 people in northern Nigeria in 1966 in pogroms? Was it the Christians that killed 300 Igbo officers in the July 29, 1966 counter-coup?
“Was it Christians that slaughtered people all over the north from 1970 up until the present day – all over the north – slaughtered Christians – whether it is through Boko Haram, Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), Maitatsine and so many other extremists, barbaric, terrorists organisations? Was it a Christian who said that he would rather die than allow a Muslim to rule the affairs of Nigeria? Was it not Gumi’s father?
“Sheikh Abubakar Gumi that said that he would rather die than allow Christians rule our country and amazingly he died a few months later and a Christian took power. All the butchery and mass murders that have taken place in northern Nigeria and even parts of southern Nigeria – in Zango Kataf in southern Kaduna, in Numa in Adamawa State, in Benue State, in Taraba State, Plateau State all over the north where Christian communities were targeted by various Islamic groups and various terrorist groups and butchered in their homes into pieces and even parts of the South when the Fulani herdsmen were attacking the South, butchering the people as far as the East and Yoruba land, and South-South.
“Were the people that perpetrated these things Christians? Or were they terrorists? I wouldn’t call them Muslims; I called them terrorists because they do not represent Islam. These people are butchers and barbarians rather like Hamas and what they were doing to people is precisely what Hamas did to the Jews on October 7, of this month.
“So, he should stop trying to make it look as if only Christians kill. Human beings kill one another and that is a tragedy but he should stop pointing fingers at the Christian community and stop disregarding the fact that there are many millions of decent God God-fearing Muslims in both North and South who cannot be categorized as terrorists like him.
“Let me just add this: the terrorists that he represents kill not just Christians but they kill Muslims too. If that was not the case, how do we explain the fact that these same terrorists this man represents and constantly defends and helps and rationalises and negotiates on their behalf and so on and so forth, and speaks for them and… these same terrorists slaughter Muslims in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Jigawa and all over the core north.
“They also slaughter Muslims in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and all over the northeast. So the people he represents or rather the animals that Gumi represents are not Muslims, they are terrorists and they kill as many Muslims as they do Christians – they kill both Christians and Muslims so who is he?
“To now get up and say that Christians cannot be trusted with guns or positions of power or in the military or security agencies or intelligence agencies. This issue is above politics. If we are one nation, we should respect one another. Nothing matters more than this. Whether you are a northerner, a southerner, a Christian or a Muslim, respect one another. Other than that, we may not have a nation left, and God forbid that this country should be engulfed in a religious crisis or another war.
“Let it be clear to the whole country that we the Christians will not bow to anybody and neither will rational reasonable Muslims bow to this side of terroristic rhetoric and neither will we let such people push us into a civil war.”
“We want peace in this country and call on the government, the DSS (Department of State Services), police and all the security agencies and President Bola Tinubu to ensure that this man is called to order, that he is called in, he is warned and arrested and if necessary prosecuted for incitement and an attempt to destabilise our country,” he added.