PANDEF condemns Gumi over ‘satanic’ comment on Wike - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, October 22, 2023

PANDEF condemns Gumi over ‘satanic’ comment on Wike

The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has described as irresponsible, absurd and subversive the recent comments by the Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

PANDEF said it was most unfortunate that at a time when every well-meaning Nigerian should be concerned about the stability, peace, and unity of the country, the likes of Sheikh Gumi are further stoking the ambers of discord intended to exacerbate tension in the country.

The group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Ken Robinson on Sunday said “It's utterly despicable that a so-called Cleric would fashion himself into a shameless promoter of parochialism and acrimony.

“We consider the call for the removal of Chief Nyesom Wike as Minister of FCT, and indeed, any other Niger Deltan, based on wild predispositions, as an indirect poke at the people of the Niger Delta region, and the South-South Geopolitical Zone, in particular, to catechize our stake in the Nigerian State”.

PANDEF reminded that Abuja is the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and not a sectional capital; “more so, it (FCT) was developed and continues to be developed with, mainly, the oil and gas resources of the Niger Delta region, where Nyesom Wike comes from.

“It is commonly known that crude oil was swapped instead of payment to contractors in building the infrastructure in Abuja, including the Aso Rock Villa.  At that time, no one talked of Abuja belonging to any particular ethnic group. 

“In fact, from the administration of Shehu Shagari up until the General Babangida regime, the federal government encouraged all citizens, no matter where they come from, to acquire and develop property in the Federal Capital Territory, because Abuja belongs to all Nigerians.

“We recall that our youths came to Abuja in l998 for a so-called “2 Million Man March” in support of the self-succession bid of General Sani Abacha, and saw how resources from their land were being used in building bridges, roads, and amazing structures, whereas their communities, meshed in an environment ravished and degraded by oil and gas exploration activities, are deprived of such "wonders". 

The statement recalled that the contradictions the youths saw, provoked renewed agitations in the Niger Delta leading to the "Kaiama Declaration" for Resource Control and Justice, in December 1998, and the subsequent crisis in the region.

“Suffice it to state that any Nigerian; from the North, South, East, or West, could and should, be appointed to serve as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Remarkably, Nyesom Wike is the 17th Minister of the FCT, but only the second Southerner to be appointed in 47 years, since the creation of the FCT.

“The first Southerner, and the very first Minister of the FCT, for that matter, was Mobolaji Ajose-Adeogun, who recently passed on at 96; he served as FCT Minister between 1976 and 1979, under the military regime of General Obasanjo. The other 15 past Ministers of the FCT are all persons of northern extraction. The records are there for all to see” 

PANDEF’S statement further reminded that, a Northerner, Musa Yar’Adua, father of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, served as the Minister of Lagos Affairs during the First Republic from 1963 until the military truncated the First Republic in 1966. Nobody complained then!

“We commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his patriotism and political will in appointing a Southerner, the former Governor of Rivers State, as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory after over four decades”. 

It however warned Sheikh Gumi and his backers to leave Nyesom Wike alone; and allow the Minister to do his job. “This country belongs to all of us and no section is superior to the other”. 

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