The calls for the dismissal of Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State, as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), based on his religion or place of origin, have been denounced by the Middle Belt Forum (MBF).
In a statement released on Sunday, the forum’s national president, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, also denounced a popular video clip created by an Islamic preacher located in Kaduna named Sheikh Ahmed Gumi.
The statement bemoaned the presence of Hausa-language video clips from other clerics who said that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) belonged to the North and that it is improper for a Christian (arne) to hold the position of Minister.
According to him, the Gbagyi people were the first to live in the FCT after being uprooted from their home lands by the Nigerian State to create the Federal Capital Territory that Gumi and his gang were now laying claim to.
In the statement, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was urged to ensure that the preachers’ comments about religion were thoroughly investigated.
“Considering the roles of Gumi in promoting negotiation with agents of banditry and insurgency, he should be quickly reined in to checkmate his evil and capricious activities,” the MBF said.
On the issue of headship of security organisations, the forum noted that they were all mere survivors of what it called “horrible results of the eight years of President Buhari when all security agencies were in the hands of Gumi’s Muslim stock”.
The statement added, “In the face of their grim failure whereby the entire North-west, North-east and North-central zones became war zones and havens for kidnappers and criminal elements, it amounts to shameless drunkenness for Gumi to state that only Muslims have capacity to deal fairly with all groups in the country.
“Indeed, it is clear that Gumi and his band of followers are hell-bent on igniting the monster of bigotry in a nation that is already set on edge. Of course, they are not happy that the evil eight years of Muhamadu Buhari’s nepotism and religious discrimination is over.
“No country would survive a religious crisis of the magnitude Gumi and his gang are trying hard to plunge this country into. President Tinubu must act quickly and punish elements determined to unleash ethnic and religious war on the people.
“In times like this when the government is engaged in rescuing the country from the claws of insurgents and bandits, religiously divisive comments by preachers like Gumi is an attempt to throw the country into religious war.”
The forum emphasised that Wike is eminently qualified to be put into his current position as the FCT Minister and emphasised that every Nigerian should have the right to be appointed into public office, regardless of their religious and ethnic connections.
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