…Says, “He’s frustrated.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Northern Youth group, under the guise of ‘Arewa Youth Assembly’ (AYA), has reacted to what they described as a “divisive comment” by popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Muhammed Gumi, regarding the appointment of Nyesome Wike as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The speaker of the group, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, in a press statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday, said the comment by Gumi and one Sanusi Garko II, describing the former Rivers Governor as “hater of Northern Nigeria and infidel,” respectively, does not represent the vision of a united Nigeria.
Salihu Danlami said it is disheartening that some individuals still engage in hate speech and divisive rhetoric, seeking to sow seeds of discord among Nigerians at such a time when Nigerians are divided across different ethnicity, religious and other races.
He stressed that, Governor Wike, who is FCT Minister-designate, is a dedicated public servant and has demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities in his role as Governor of Rivers State, adding that his commitment to good governance and the progress of his state is commendable and, as such, Arewa Youth Assembly is assuring him of their full support to succeed as FCT Minister.
He said, “Arewa Youth Assembly, a progressive and inclusive youth organization, hereby reaffirms its unwavering support to former Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as FCT Minister-Designate.
“We strongly condemn the recent divisive statements made by Sheikh Muhammed Gumi in a trending video and the Facebook post of one Sanusi Garko II, describing former Governor Wike as a hater of Northern Nigeria and an infidel, respectively.
“It is disheartening that some individuals still engage in hate speech and divisive rhetoric, seeking to sow seeds of discord among Nigerians. The Arewa Youth Assembly firmly upholds the principle that Nigeria belongs to all its citizens, regardless of religious, ethnic, or political affiliations. We believe that unity and cooperation among all regions are crucial to our nation’s progress and development.
“Governor Wike is a dedicated public servant and has demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities in his role as Governor of Rivers State. His commitment to good governance and the progress of his state is commendable. As such, we express our full support for his appointment as the FCT Minister and assure him of our unwavering support in this new role.
“It is on record that, Mr. Wike on behalf of Rivers State donated 500 million naira to victims of the Sokoto State Central Market fire incident.
“Similarly, a donation of 200 million naira was made to victims of banditry in Kaduna State. In a like manner, he donated N200 million to Benue IDPs and N400 million to victims of the Katsina-Ala and High-Level markets incident, just to mention but a few kindnesses of the former governor towards the North.
“Wike is one of us; he deserves all our support. One million of the likes of Sanusi Garko can’t set us against such a kindhearted man.
“We understand the frustration of Sheikh towards Nyesom Wike. The Sheikh was visibly present in the campaign train of Atiku Abubakar, seeing that Mr. Wike stood firmly on the Asaba declaration wherein all southern governors agreed to work on a power shift, which ultimately, handed power to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shetima as President and Vice President, respectively, will continue to disturb Atiku’s campaign team on various altars parading themselves as ‘Men of God.’
“It only takes a patriotic Nigeria to jettison the campaign along ethnic and religious lines and support the novel Muslim/Muslim for the sake of national cohesion.
“It is pertinent for us to ask Sheikh Gumi and his co-travelers when Wike was making those huge donations to traders in the seat of the caliphate and even Kaduna where Gumi preached his hate-filled sermon, where were other Arewa elites who once held the position of the FCT Minister? Wike can be accused of anything, but certainly not a religious bigot or hater of Islam.
“Nigerians and, most importantly, northerners who have suffered at the hands of bandits know those that have been using their platforms to aid and abet bandits. They know whose associate is still being held by the DSS over the role he played in the Kaduna-Abuja train attack. If only the investigation can be hastened, somebody can’t be free to continue promoting hate and negatively radicalizing younger generations, instead of admonishing them to be nationalists.
“While freedom of expression is a fundamental right, it comes with great responsibility. We call on all Nigerians to exercise this right responsibly and refrain from making inflammatory statements that can fuel discord and mistrust among fellow citizens. Let us strive to foster unity, understanding, and constructive dialogue, as this is the foundation on which a strong and prosperous nation is built.
“Furthermore, we urge the relevant security agencies to remain vigilant and closely monitor individuals, who engage in hate speech or any form of incitement. Maintaining peace and security is paramount to the progress and stability of Nigeria, and we must all play our part in fostering a harmonious society.
“The Arewa Youth Assembly remains committed to promoting peace, understanding, and cooperation among all Nigerians. We call on our fellow citizens to embrace these values and work together for the betterment of our beloved nation,” it stated.