Story By Akinola Emmanuel, February 27,2021
The National President, Nigeria Union Of Journalists, Chris Isiguzo has described as reckless and dishourable the remarks and attitudes of the popular islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi.
The number one joirnalist in Nigeria stated this while reacting to a statement made by the cleric on Arise TV Lagos, where he described journalists as “criminals” for calling badits criminals.
Isiguzo said he do not see any correlation between journalism and criminality hence the unnecessary name calling by the well respected Islamic cleric.
“This unnecessary and unprovoked attack on members of the media by a hitherto respected cleric who decided to embark on strange errands, is unacceptable and it is becoming clearer now that he is pursuing a different agenda.
We equally recall a recent statement credited to Sheik Gumi where he was inciting bandits, by encouraging religious biases among soldiers on the battlefield.
We are more shocked that the same Sheik Gumi who has used the media to speak to leaders and to advance the course of his mission to the bandits across the Northwest, is at the same time attacking the Journalists for simply describing bandits as criminals.”
The national President said Sheik Gumi’s attempts to seek amnesty for killers and abductors of innocent citizens, especially school children is most unfortunate.
He called on Sheik Gumi to explain to Nigerians why despite his recent negotiations with bandits in Zamfara State, the criminals have continued maiming, killing, raping and kidnapping innocent citizens, including the 300 female Students just abducted in the same State.
“In saner climes, Sheikh Gumi, a non-state actor involved in negotiations with criminal elements, should have been behind bars, but alas, thanks to the weaknesses of our Leaders, he continues with his reckless comments and forays into bandit territory unabated.
By insulting the Press as “Criminals” Sheikh Gumi has exposed himself the more as an intolerant person who will not want his activities closely scrutinised by the media. It is instructive to remind Sheik Gumi that by embarking on such an errand and choosing to speak for the bandits, the Press will continue to scrutinise his activities and also hold him accountable for his actions as enshrined in the Constitution.”
The statement further invite the global community to document the utterances and actions of Sheik Gumi and to hold him to account for any bandit related mishap that may happen to Journalists around the country.