MOTTO: DIALOGUE, NOT VIOLENCE

25th October, 2023

PRESS RELEASE:

NYESOME WIKE: DON’T CRUCIFY GUMI – MURIC

    

Shaykh Ahmad Gumi recently criticized the Minister of the capital territory, Nyesome Wike, for hosting the ambassador of Israel in his office. Although Gumi also came under attack from several quarters over his comments, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has risen to the defence of Shaykh Ahmad Gumi. MURIC said Shaykh Gumi has the right to self-expression as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.

 

 

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday, 25th October, 2023 by the Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

The full statement reads:

 

“Shaykh Ahmad Gumi has come under a tornado of criticisms over his recent comments on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and former governor of Rivers State, Nyesome Wike (https://newsdiaryonline.com/pandef-mbf-tackle-gumi-others-over-anti-wike-campaign/).

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“We are of the candid opinion that most responders were propelled by emotion, not by the facts on ground. Our opinion is based on the antecedents of the minister himself, Nyesome Wike, because there is no smoke without fire.

 

 

“Gumi’s comment has been taken in isolation as if the Shaykh just woke up from sleep and started talking. Something must have prompted him. Why didn’t he tackle any other minister? Why Wike alone among all other ministers? Gumi’s comments on Wike should be assessed against the backdrop of Wike’s actions and spoken words if we want to be objective.

 

 

“The truth is that Wike is not innocent. He has been garrulous. He has also been too visibly anti-Muslim. As the governor of Rivers State, Wike demolished a mosque in Port Harcourt against all pleas.

 

 

“Again, Wike declared Rivers State a Christian State (https://punchng.com/rivers-is-a-christian-state-wike-insists/). This was done in blatant violation of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states very clearly: ‘The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion.’

 

 

“No sooner than Wike became the minister of the Federal Capital Territory than he announced that he intended to hand over the security of the all-important territory to Israel. MURIC saw the danger in this and warned the minister (https://dailytrust.com/muric-cautions-wike-over-planned-security-deal-with-israel/#:~:text=We%20like%20to%20warn%20that,global%20espionage%20outfits%20like%20the).

 

 

“But Wike ignored the warning and went ahead to invite the ambassador of Israel to his office. That was an arrogant display of power as well as a manifestation of gross insensitivity. Wike is aware that anything that has to do with Israel is volatile. Israel is a controversial country and Nigerians will not touch it with a long pole. Israel is killing thousands of children and pregnant women while it flagrantly violates international laws and ignores resolutions of the United Nations. How can Wike be so insensitive?

 

 

 

“That office does not belong to Wike personally. He occupies it in trust. But by inviting the Israeli ambassador there at a time Israel is committing war crimes and Nigerians are demonstrating against that apartheid state, Wike has abused the trust given to him by the Nigerian Senate representing the good people of Nigeria That invitation sent the wrong signals to the international community as Nigeria’s official endorsement of Israel’s atrocities.

 

 

“Nobody will stop Wike if he wakes up Hitler or Mussolini from their graves and invites them to accompany Netanyahu to his personal house. The Israeli ambassador to Nigeria is the face of Israel. As far as Nigerians are concerned that ambassador is the embodiment of Israeli crimes against humanity. Not a few Nigerians will keep him at a safe distance but Wike decided to swim against the current.

 

 

“Wike should know his limitations. The last time MURIC checked, the President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, not Ezenwo Nyesome Wike, CON. He should not usurp the office of the president. Besides, Abuja is not an annex of Rivers State.

 

 

“Wike’s invitation to the Israeli ambassador was ultra vires. He should leave that to the minister of foreign affairs. He should desist from intruding into the jurisdictions of other ministers and bullying every other official in Abuja. Wike can invite the ambassador of Israel to his personal house but not to his office.

 

 

“Another pointable point is that Wike has a reputation challenge among Nigerian Muslims due to his anti-Muslim proclivities as exhibited during his tenure as governor of Rivers State. He succeeded in courting the hatred of Muslims during that period.

 

 

“While it is true that not every Muslim will agree with Shaykh Gumi on entrusting Nigeria’s security apparatus to a Christian, nobody should attempt to guillotine Shaykh Gumi for cautioning the garrulous and fiery minister.

 

 

“MURIC advises public office holders to be circumspect, to manifest sensitivity to the feeling of Nigerians and, above all, to think twice on matters that may have religious undertone before commenting on them. Silence cannot be more golden than in public office.

 

 

Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression by stipulating as follows: Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impact ideas and information without interference. The Tsunami of condemnations hurled at Shaykh Gumi was therefore uncalled for because he merely expressed his mind.

 

 

“Unfortunately it is when a Muslim speaks that merchants of hate suspend the principles of freedom of speech. When others utter hate-filled scud missiles at Muslims they call it free speech. It is the age of double standard. Fairness and justice have taken leave of the entire world. Might is right.

 

 

“We call on the heads of Nigerian security agencies to do everything possible to stop Wike from placing our collective safety in the hands of a murderous state like Israel. Genuine security derives from mutual trust. Nigerians will never trust, support or cooperate with any security paraphernalia built for Abuja FCT by Israel.

 

 

“As we draw the curtain, we reiterate our position on the raging controversy over Shaykh Gumi’s comments on Wike. All condemnations of Shaykh Gumi on this issue in particular is an attempt to freeze free speech. The FCT minister himself invited Gumi’s comments due to his anti-Muslim and far right Christian stance when he was governor of Rivers State.”

 

##ShaykhGumi

#FreedomOfSpeech

#Wike

#AbujaNotRiversState

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

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