Gumi’s advocacy of terrorism

Posted by News Express | 6 March 2021 | 1,051 times

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What, then, does it take to be a corporate leader in the 2020s? Every firm is different, but those hiring a CEO, or aspiring to be one, should prize a few qualities. Mastering the tricky, creative and more collaborative game of allocating intangible capital is essential. A CEO must be able to marshal the data flowing between companies and their counterparties, redistributing who earns profits and bear risk. (The Economist, February 8-14, 2020)

That was the position of The Economist when it treated the all-important topic of leadership in the corporate world. I think these qualities stated out are also in demand whenever a nation looks forward to a general election to pick out persons seeking public offices, because the strategies for running successful companies are about the same if a nation-state is to be governed well in line with global best practices. However, these qualities are lacking in the kind of political leaders that bestride the political space in Nigeria. This apparent leadership vacuum had thrown up all kinds of tribal and religious warlords including those species that have started advocating soft-landing for terrorists and have called journalists criminals for addressing kidnappers of school children in the North as terrorists. Here, I’m referring to the person of Ahmad Gumi, better identified as an Islamic Cleric.

Mr Ahmed Gumi who is an Islamic teacher in Kaduna has made a lot of irresponsible and irrational statements that are all geared towards stoking ethno-religious wars in Nigeria, in his wild goose chase to negotiate soft-landing for terrorists who are famously called armed bandits by the government and the Nigerian Media. This advocate of terrorism is busy selling his comics of defending terrorists and telling everyone to accept that terrorists in the North-West are waging a just war, and that they were exposed to existential threat during President Goodluck Jonathan’s era. This goes to show that, perhaps, the war on terrorists in the North-West coordinated by the armed security forces of Nigeria is what this preacher of hate is classifying as a war targeting northern Moslems.

Gumi has accused military operatives of Christian origin to have killed the armed terrorists in the North-West, stylishly re-baptised by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as armed bandits.

The Kaduna-based cleric is reported too to have made some wild claims calculated to inflame passions and to instigate ethno-religious disharmony, including the incoherent and irrational views which reportedly compared the activities of terrorists in the North today to the declaration of the intent by the then Eastern regional government headed by the then Colonel Chukwuemeka Odunlegwu Ojukwu to secede out of Nigeria of the 1967, because the then General Yakubu Gowon-led junta failed to stop the pogrom and genocidal killings of Igbo civilians living in the Northern Region.

A war ensued between the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria and the defunct Republic of Biafra, which lasted for 30 months. After the cessation of hostilities, the Federal Republic of Nigeria declared that there was no victor, no vanquished. So one Ahmad GUMI is still bitter about how that civil war ended and that Nigeria has since progressed?

Gumi’s attempt at revisionism and turning logic on its head must be challenged frontally before he continues to spew out hate-filled sentiments all in his warped imagination of presuming the pure terrorism of mass kidnappings of students as same as other political developments that shaped the evolution of the current Nigerian nation. I must state emphatically that Ahmed Gumi’s advocacy of terrorism amounts to support for terrorism.

The advocacy for tolerated terrorism of kidnapping of school children as is being made by the Kaduna-based Moslem cleric is a crime against humanity, which must be confronted in a law-based way so Nigeria does not become a country where those in open sympathy with terrorists are allowed to stoke up ethno-religious sentiments capable of instigating another civil war. What then is the essence of the relevant sections of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011, especially from sections 4 up to 6? We will give the citations before we wrap up. President Muhammadu Buhari refuses to enforce the counter-terror law, which emboldened Ahmad GUMI and his likes to continue to insult our collective intelligence.

Gumi reportedly said kidnapping schoolchildren was a lesser evil when compared to the ransacking of towns and killing of its residents.

The Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, had reportedly described the kidnapping of schoolchildren by bandits as a lesser evil.

The cleric who has been visiting bandits in the forest in an attempt to negotiate a peace deal with them disclosed this while featuring on BBC Pidgin.

Gumi said kidnapping schoolchildren was a lesser evil when compared to the ransacking of towns and killing of its residents.

The cleric also stated that his meetings were yielding positive results, saying bandits are now careful about human lives.

“Kidnapping children from school is a lesser evil because, in the end, you can negotiate; and now bandits are very careful about human lives,” he said.

“Before, the mission of bandits was to go into a town, ransack it and kill people. By this, I can say our preaching is working and hopefully, we are coming to an end of banditry in Zamfara and other states.

“Bandits are more careful about lives now and just want to do sensational attacks which would bring attention to themselves.” On Friday morning, over 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata Mafara Local Government area of the state were abducted.

The gunmen were said to have arrived at the school around 00:1AM, and loaded the girls in buses. A resident in Kawaye village, identified as Seidu Muhammadu, who confirmed the development to Sahara Reporters said his daughters, Mansura and Sakina, were among those abducted.

As learnt, the bandits arrived around 1 am with buses and motorcycles, which were used to take the pupils away.

The incident comes a week after gunmen struck the Government Secondary School in Kagara, Niger State, abducting school pupils, teachers, and workers.

On December 11, 2020, 344 secondary schoolboys were also abducted from Kankara in Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, while he was there.

How is it that the Federal Government has so far only issued faint verbal reprimand through the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno, but has failed to arrest Ahmed Gumi?

Recall that President Buhari banned mining and imposed a no-flight zone in the North-western state of Zamfara on Tuesday, vowing to crack down on lawlessness in the area, in response to the abduction last week of 279 schoolgirls, since freed.

Buhari ordered a “massive” deployment of military and intelligence assets to restore normalcy to Nigeria's North-West, National Security Adviser Monguno told journalists in Abuja after a Security Council meeting.

The government “will not allow this country to drift into state failure,” he said in response to the abductions. “We are not going to be blackmailed.”

A series of school abductions in recent months has led many Nigerians to worry that regional authorities are making the situation worse by letting kidnappers go unpunished or paying them off.

Buhari said earlier on Tuesday that the practice of paying ransoms had encouraged kidnappers. The state government in Zamfara has denied paying a ransom but said it offered the kidnappers amnesty and help-settling.

Zamfara is home to large gold deposits, with a legal mining industry operating alongside illegal mines that the authorities say have fuelled violence. The impact of a no-fly zone was difficult to assess as the state has no major airport.

Armed groups have plagued the state and its neighbours in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, looting and destroying communities and murdering civilians. Security forces’ attempts to halt their rampage have met with little success, so reports Reuters.

I think all these are taking place because of absence of leadership in the mould of the qualities of an effective chief executive officer of a corporate body that we cited from The Economist. Also, the Justice Minister Abubakar Malami has abandoned his duty of prosecution of terrorists, but is doing nothing or saying nothing even when the likes of Ahmad Gumi openly Canvasses Amnesty for mass killers, kidnappers and terrorists. This writer believes in the use of the relevant laws in the land to effectively prosecute terrorists and get them to pay heavy penalty by way of punishment of the severest forms for their criminal acts of terror.

A justice of the Court of Appeal, Calabar Division stated rightly why the nation should jail terrorists. And, in my view, the Nigerian state should execute by firing squad all terrorists caught kidnapping school children and passengers and unleashing violence. Justice M.A. Owoade stated thus and I endorse this position: “To appreciate the problem of sentencing and society, one has to bear in mind that the ultimate aim of the criminal law itself is the protection of the society and the citizens. ‘The general purposes of the provisions governing the definition of offences’ in the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code might be taken as a statement of the proper objectives of the substantive law of crime in a modern legal system. The purposes are: ‘(a) To forbid and prevent conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests. (b) To subject to public control persons whose conduct indicates that they are disposed to commit crimes, c) To safeguard conduct that is without fault from condemnation as criminal d) To give fair warning of the nature of the conduct declared to be an offence (e) To differentiate, on reasonable grounds, between serious and minor offences.’

“Relatedly, the main purpose of punishment is that of expressing censure and denunciation. Society's rejection of the offender's wrongdoing must be publicly expressed. Sentencing is the most highly visible decision-making stage in the Criminal Justice process. It is carried out in open court, and in public. It thus contrasts with earlier stages of the decision-making process either by the Police or the Attorney-General as prosecutors or by the trial court itself,” so submits the jurist.

“The judge seeks to do justice by imposing the sentence the criminal deserves. But he also strives to be just in another and sometimes conflicting way, that is, by treating the criminal before him equally with others who have an equal degree of moral guilt. Equality of treatment is commonly and rightly seen as fundamental to justice. And

the judges are anxious to avoid the strong sense of grievance which arises from inequality.”

He added that “sentencing without conformity is a social injustice,” noting: “The judge may impose a sentence greater or less than he thinks the criminal deserves in order to comply with the norm  - and this is the more reason why we have to discuss and explain the theories of punishment.” He listed them as the Penological theories: There are four main theories of punishment: (i) Deterrence (ii) incapacitation (iii) rehabilitation and (iv) retribution.

He said the boundaries between these theories are far from clear with several of them containing sub-categories, many of which are perceived quite differently by different writers. Importantly, the judge made a strong position on what functions judicial sentencing plays. And the first factor that goes with justice system to my conviction is what scholars call the value of  deterrent: Deterrent theories, unlike the retributive theories of punishment which we shall examine later, are forward looking in that they are concerned with the consequences of punishment: their aim is to reduce further crime by the threat or example of punishment.

This writer adopts the position that Terror suspects must never be forgiven but must go through the full weight of the law. To underscore the reality of the fact that if you do not punish offenders, you will promote impunity, we have just been told that those suspected terrorists freed as repentant Terrorists simply went back to doing what they definitely know how to do best, which is Terrorism And Mass Killings.

Meanwhile, Daily Trust disclosed that many so-called de-radicalised Boko Haram members have reportedly re-joined the group and picked up arms against the state, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State said. Zulum, who is the chairman of the North-East Governors Forum (NEGF), said this on Wednesday in Bauchi during the meeting of the six governors.

He lamented that the Boko Haram terrorists have changed tactics and were becoming more vicious, saying the Federal Government should halt the de-radicalisation exercise and prosecute all terrorists in order to end the over 11-year insurgency.

“It has been confirmed that the concept of de-radicalisation or Safe Corridor is not working as expected. Quite often, those who have passed through the Safe Corridor initiative or have been de-radicalised, usually go back and re-join the terror group, after carefully studying the various security arrangements in their host communities, during the reintegration process,” he said. Zulum also said most communities were not amenable to accepting the so-called de-radicalised terrorists. “The host communities where the reintegration process is going on usually resent the presence of Boko Haram terrorists, even if they have been de-radicalised, because of the despicable and atrocious activities they have committed in the past.”

Here is why Gumi Must Be Arrested And Prosecuted According To Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 Section 4 (1): “A person who knowingly, in any manner, solicits or renders support for – (a) an act of terrorism; or (b) A proscribed organisation or an internationally suspected terrorist group. An offence under this Act and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of 20 years. (2) Without prejudice to subsection (2) of this section, where death results from any terrorist act, the penalty shall he death sentence: (3) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, ‘support’ includes.

(a) Incitement to commit a terrorist act; (b) Offer of material assistance, weapons, including biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, explosives, training, transportation, false documentation or identification; (c) Offer or provision of moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a proscribed organization; and (d) The provision of, or making available, such financial or other related services as may be prescribed in this act.”

Specifically, section 5 says: “A person whether or not in the armed services who harbours, conceals or causes to be harboured or concealed, a person whom he knew to have committed, or to have been convicted of an act of terrorism or against whom he knew that a warrant of arrest or imprisonment for such an act had been issued commits an offence under that Act and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of 10 years.”

Section 6 states: “Any person who, knowingly agrees to provide training or instruction –

(a) in the making or use of an) ‘explosive or other lethal device; or (b) in carrying out (l) terrorist act: to a member of a terrorist group or a person engaging in, or preparing to engage in the commission of a terrorist act, commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of 10 years.” Mr President Muhammadu Buhari, kindly tell us why you are not arresting Sheikh Ahmad Gumi and all who support terrorism, including the Bauchi State governor who supports the criminality of Fulani nomads wielding Ak-47?

Mr President Muhammadu Buhari, please read your oath of office.

•Comrade Onwubiko, head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, blogs @www.,

Source: News Express

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