A prominent Nigerian Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, said Tuesday he has been threatened for not supporting Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Kaduna-based cleric raised the alarm on Tuesday in a Facebook post titled, “PDP v APC: It’s Not about Religion.”
He said his children have also been receiving calls from persons who use unknown telephone numbers to threaten them.
“People like me who had all along been critical about the government can longer speak or express personal opinion if it is not in support of Gen. Buhari,” said Shiekh Gumi.
“Just this morning around 2.30a.m., my three male children individually got threatening phone calls from a private number. People can vote for whoever they choose whether a Christian or a Muslim”
The cleric had in a separate Facebook post in October called on Mr. Buhari not to contest the 2015 presidential election for fear of crisis.
At the same time, he also advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to stand in next year’s presidential election.
Mr. Jonathan has emerged the PDP candidate while Mr. Buhari is the APC candidate.
Mr. Gumi has also recently criticized the choice of a lawyer and pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Yemi Osinbajo, as Mr. Buhari’s running mate, saying, “It’s now the Church not just Christians that have their feet engrossed in the APC.”
Reacting to Sheikh Gumi’s alarm, a Zaria-based cleric, Ahmed Ali, advised the preacher to stay off politics so that he will not derail from what he has been known for.
“Politics is for politicians while religious teachings are in the hands of clerics. Gumi should have remained on that and not start joining issues with politicians,” Mr. Ali said. “You can see that he is being labeled as an enemy by supporters of the candidates he claimed to have given advice.”
Instead of venturing into the murky political terrain, Mr. Ali advised Mr. Gumi to continue preaching to the youth to avoid any form of violence.
He advised Mr. Gumi to offer any advice he has personally to those concerned.
“You can see even if the cleric has a good intention on what he is doing, it is becoming a worrisome issue for him and even his family because he did not do it with wisdom,” Mr. Ali said.
He called on religious leaders to use their positions to preach to people to eschew violence and to also advise politicians to play politics with decorum.
Below is Mr. Gumi’s full message
PDP v APC: it’s not about religion.
Surely there is religion in politics and politics in religion. However the 2015 PDP v APC is not about religion. It’s a time bomb and God is not the author of mischief.
Security members have clamped down on APC members and took away their computers, while some irrational youth are threatening the lives of PDP members with their families in the North. PDP posters are vandalized in some places.
People like me who had been all along critical about the government dear (dare) speak or express my own personal opinion if it’s not in support of Gen. Buhari. One must be bribed or a PDP agent. Just this early morning around 2.30am my three male children individually got threatening phone calls from a private number who are Hausa speakers.
Already a ‘cult’ is formed.
All these are harbingers of what is coming up when anyone of the contestants is declared loser. With intimidation from both sides, it shows that a truly one hundred percent free and fair election will be an illusion.
Yet it’s the only one eye we have so we have to do with the cake half-baked.
What is now paramount and of highest priority is peace and stability. Every life must be protected; minorities – Muslims and Christians – should be secured also, without putting an extra burden on the already exhausted military and police.
It’s good that both presidential candidates of the PDP and APC have re-emphasized that the 2015 presidential contest is not a religious one. The two parties have also reiterated the same. Therefore, the 2015 elections is not a Crusade v Jihad and consequently there is no martyrdom. The only ethical obligation on the clergy of both religions, Christians and Muslims, is to explain it to their congregations to avoid violence.
Nigeria doesn’t need another religiously tainted war. The Boko Haram has already tormented all.
APC was ‘demonized’ by elements in PDP as a “Janjaweed” party to the extent that they were pushed to take a pastor instead of a nominal Christian as their vice presidential candidate. This in turn has nationally brought another dangerous innovation and dimension into the dirty game of power struggle.
Now men of religion will surely be messed up and ‘dirtied’. Next as Muslims become sensitized too, a Sheikh will soon be on the list and a u-turn to another religious conflict – inter-faith and extra faith will ensue. Thanks to the recklessness of both parties that have proven no matter what they claim; are still self -centered and egocentric.
The choice of a pastor to deputize for Gen. Buhari is meant to shake to the core the Christians who were made to see the candidate as a religious fanatic and also the Muslims alike who saw the General as having some Islamic aura. It should then effectively neutralized the ‘demonization’ of PDP as a Christian party. It’s now the Church not just Christians that have a foot engrossed in APC. A privilege the Mosque cannot be said to enjoy in any of the two parties.
Therefore both parties are a group of Nigerian Muslims and Christian’s joined together for a common. Each with its winning slogan and strategy. Each can only promote his/her religion on personal basis but the union is purely secular and worldly. The essence of our democratic union.
So no Muslim or Christian should be demonized for joining any of the parties. Muslims and Christians should all freely choose which party they like without any compromise on their religious obligations. It’s a matter of mundane desires and preferences. No party is holy or is making brief for the Almighty God.
Therefore, you as a voter, take all precautionary steps, legal and practical, to vote and protect your rights. But never violence.
As for Islam for which I speak for, since there are Muslims on both sides, any Muslim who will kill or die fighting another Muslim will be condemned to Hell for eternity. Likewise, whoever that will also kill another non-Muslim Nigerian because of the constitutional treaty of peaceful coexistence between Nigerians will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.
In a Hadith narrated by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Noble Prophet said: “when two Muslims fight each other with their swords, the killer and the killed are in Hell”
In another Hadith, the Noble Prophet said: “whosoever will kill any soul of non-Muslim under peace treaty will never smell the fragrance of Paradise which can be found from a distance of forty years,” narrated by Al-Bukhari.
Islam abhors mutiny and treason which are culpable felonies, deception, and breach of trust, rigging, lying, material and spiritual corruption. And one may not need to ask which Nigerian or party is not a culprit to any of these divine offences? Therefore the word is let us take it easy and live in peace.
This democracy has been unconstitutionally raped repeatedly by the military might and polls rigging, yet your civility, patience and prayers had always been our only remedy and the strength of our unity.
Therefore don’t kill or expose yourself to political violence for naught. This world is going to end. And the day you die, you will only be judged by Divine ruling not by the Nigerian Supreme Court decisions.
Whoever calls you out to violence ask him to show up himself and his children first. This way we can altogether avoid post-election violence, chaos and anarchy.
Let us remind ourselves, we saw that when Boko Haram takes over a village both Muslims and Christians run helter-skelter for their lives to Federal government controlled areas. Meaning there can be a situation worse than what you are in now. Therefore, thank God and never allow yourself to be used in violence in anticipation of a better life, while you will end up lamenting over our previous situation as bad as it may appear.
“The near event draws nigh. * There shall be none besides Allah to remove it.”
May God bring peace, security and stability to our country? Amin.