The recent visit of the controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmmad Abubakar Gumi, to some communities in the Okun land (Yoruba speaking areas), Kogi State, has continued to raise serious apprehension and fears among the people, and therefore needed to be probed.
A social critic and public commentator, Mr. Shea Badeyi, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in lokoja at the weekend, stating that he was in support of Okun Development Association (the umbrella body of the Okun-Yoruba people), which condemned the visit of the cleric.
The Islamic Cleric, Gumi, had visited Ayangan, a community near Kabba in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area and some communities in Yagba land where he provided free medical outreach to some Fulani herdsmen, which he said have been long abandoned.
While reacting to the strange visit, Bebeyi said going by the antecedents of the controversial cleric who he said has been openly supporting bandits, it raised doubts whether the medical outreach was not a smokescreen to any other sinister move against the Okun Yoruba people which he said are very peaceful, love strangers and law-abiding.
According to the social critic,” If Gumi truly meant well, why did he not pay a courtesy call on the traditional rulers of the affected communities or even alert them of his coming before ‘ the so-called medical outreach’, and why must he single out the Fulani people or the herders for the outreach?
“Security agencies and Kogi State Government must probe his visit and those funding the free medical outreach whether it has other ulterior motive, because the peace loving locals where he visited and indeed the whole of Okunland are already frightened.
“We must ask why the sudden attention. Why did Gumi change the names of the communities visited to that of Hausa- Fulani language? For example the name of the first community he visited is known for ages as Ayangan-Kabba, but he changed it to Ardo Suberu. Is it a ploy to take their ancestral lands from them?
“Like the Okun Development Association has said, though Okun people are peaceful, accommodating, and law-abiding, this should not be construed as being coward, the people will resist any Fulanisation agenda that Gumi may be spearheading.”
Bebeyi, who is the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Chartered Institute of Development and Social Studies, also expressed surprise why the federal government has not arrested Gumi by now, saying his open support for bandits and kidnappers as well as his inflammatory statements are enough to invite him for questioning.
“To me, it sounds so ridiculous and surprising that the same federal government who is hunting for the head of Sunday Igboho for standing by his people who are being killed and raped daily is now pretending not to see what Gumi is doing around the country to support bandits. So where is the justice?” He asked