Security operatives in Kaduna state have reported the killing of a Pastor of ECWA Church, Kibori, in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the state by unknown assailants.
According to Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, the Christian cleric, Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali, went missing on Saturday after leaving Zango-kataf Local Government Area for Kafanchan in Jema’a Local Government Area.
According to TVC NEWS, the remains of the Pastor were discovered on Sunday morning in Kibori, near Asha-Awuce, where he was allegedly attacked and brutally murdered by assailants who have yet to be identified.
On receiving the report of the sad incident, the Governor of the State, Nasir El-Rufai expressed sadness. He sent condolences to the family of the late cleric and the ECWA church in Kimbori community.
El-Rufai expressed deep sadness over the killing, offering prayers for the repose of the soul of the slain cleric.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Mr Samuel Aruwan.
Governor El-Rufai has also ordered security operatives to intensify their efforts to apprehend those responsible for the horrible murder, while also urging residents to remain calm.
“Security agencies are conducting investigations in the general area,” Aruwan said. Reports indicate that Rev. Ali was hacked to death by suspected bandits on Saturday.
In the same vein, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), which is the umbrella of the governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has slammed controversial Kaduna State-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, for demanding amnesty for bandits causing mayhem in the north region.
Lukman described Gumi’s position as a threat to national security and a self-serving venture.
In a statement titled “Nigerian democracy and challenges of nation-building,” Lukman also faulted Gumi’s comparison of bandits in the north with Niger-Delta militants.
He explained that bandits “cannot be placed on the same pedestal with Niger Delta militants granted amnesty by the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua led administration.”
He added, “All arms of the security agencies are fully mobilised and are working in a coordinated way to crush the bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna forests. Interestingly, however, some Nigerian leaders have dismissed the military campaign going on to crush the bandits.
“So-called media commentators, religious and other leaders have discredited decisions of government to shut down communication services, markets, etc. in the states where the military operations are taking place. A religious leader has already proclaimed that the military operations against the bandits will fail.
“What a jaundiced view. Maybe Nigeria should return to the era when hundreds of millions meant for arms procurement to fight insurgency, banditry, and other criminality will be diverted and given to religious leaders for prayers.
“Instead of mobilising security agencies to fight the criminals, resources being deployed to fight insecurity in the country should be given to religious leaders to pray for the bandits to come back to their senses.
“This is perhaps what Sheikh Ahmad Gumi is preaching when he insists that government should grant amnesty to bandits in the North just the way the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua handled Niger Delta militants.
“Anybody who argues this way is already part of Nigeria’s national security problem. Nigerians need to rise to the challenge of regulating the conduct of so-called leaders, including religious clerics. Being jaundiced makes most of these leaders to be antagonistic to initiatives towards nation-building.
“Beyond religious clerics, there are other categories of leaders in the country with similarly jaundiced views. Individuals, who in their rights count as elders and have paid their dues to this country have become very vocal almost virtually against every decision and action of the government.
“However one looks at it, there is no way a nation can be built with leaders and elders whose views are antithetical to national development. Nigerians cannot be facing the challenge of insecurity and some leaders are working to undermine the efforts of the government to crush the criminal elements responsible for all the pains citizens are going through, including the loss of lives of citizens.
“Anytime leaders dismiss actions of the government against bandits and insurgents, they embolden these criminals to continue with their nefarious activities. Yes, Nigerians may be angry with the government and our political leaders.
“On no account should anyone take advantage of the anger of Nigerians to furtively support criminal activities. There must be some defined boundaries to these debates if at all the Nigerian nation is to have a common purpose and a strong national bond.”
Shut Up, Pro-Buhari Group Tells Gumi After Asking For Amnesty For Bandits
In a related development, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has advised Sheikh Ahmad Gumi to “shut up” and desist from distracting the country with his clamour for amnesty for bandits at a time the Nigeria military authorities are pounding the criminals in their hideouts.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that there is no basis for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to order a stop to ongoing military actions in the forests of Zamfara State and adjoining areas, THE INDEPENDENT reports.
The statement reads in part: “Like many Nigerians, we are concerned that the Islamic cleric could be vocal enough to say that the bandits were ‘going nowhere, in spite of ongoing air and ground assaults on their positions.
“Sheikh Gumi has, by those comments, confirmed his description as the patron saint of criminal elements that had for some time held some States in the North-West hostage.