Army condemns Gumi's claim that non-Muslim soldiers are behind insecurity crisis

The Army has warned Gumi to exercise restraint in his remarks about the agency.

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi (second from right) recently met with bandits in Zamfara, Kaduna, and Niger to negotiate peace [HumAngle]

Gumi has over the past few weeks been meeting with armed groups terrorising the region to discuss peace deals and encourage them to lay down their arms.

During one of such meetings in a border town between Niger and Kaduna last month, the cleric accused non-Muslim soldiers of provoking Muslim communities with targeted violence.

His accusation was in response to the bandits complaining that they were forced into a life of crime because soldiers unjustly killed many of their friends and families.

"The non-Muslims are the ones causing confusion just to ignite a crisis," the cleric had said.

The remarks drew widespread condemnation two weeks ago, but there was no official reaction from the Army until a statement was released on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said the institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.

"The Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation.

"Comments suggesting to mudslide the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst Nigerians," he said.

Yerima slammed Gumi's conduct as disturbing and designed to paint the Army in a bad light.

He further warned him and other opinion leaders to exercise restraint in their portrayal of the Army, and in respect of national security.

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