The cat has been let out of the bag by Sheikh Gumi at this hour. And those who initially kicked against Matawalle’s peace process have been shown for the hypocrites which they are, as their motivations can only be those of ulterior reasons that are inimical to humanity. Sheikh Gumi has done nothing in the past one week but to further endorse and take the Matawalle initiative to a new height…
Sheikh Ahmad Mahmood Gumi is basically known to the Islamic world for his independent mindedness. He is known to others as a fearless critic and boundary-crosser in the pursuit of truth, justice and fair-play. He is versed, modern, global and damning. His cleric robe gives him no discomfort to say his mind, even at the risk of being misunderstood or misinterpreted.
His recent round of active discourse on the social turbulence bedeviling the nation directly touches on Zamfara State and, specifically, a unique policy of Governor Bello Mohammed’s administration, which seeks to end the decade old banditry ravaging the State and its neighbours.
By mere co-incidence, Sheikh Gumi hails from Zamfara State. However, as a Kaduna State resident, he sourced his concern in what he saw on a daily basis happening in that State. He diagnosed the increasing traits of criminality among the Fulani as having roots in stark ignorance about their religion. He then began a socially expensive, risky and daring incursion into the bushes to preach to those ignorant among the Fulani, on the need to retrace their steps and imbibe their once exalted position as the knowledgeable nationality and leaders of the people.
Sheikh Gumi called his approach, in an interview he had with journalists, as ‘dangling the carrot’ to avoid the increasing pressure from the military and the society on his kinsmen who have gone astray. This approach falls perfectly (and indeed clearly, even if unintended) in direct line with what Governor Matawalle conceived, but which has been wickedly demonised by negative minds, mostly bitter politicians who sponsor the satanic online media that wishes the country doom by demonising the initiative and twisting it with unholy lies.
Recently, in continuation of his crusade, Sheikh Gumi decided to pay a surprise visit to Zamfara State to assess some of the efforts being made by Governor Matawalle in ending this seemingly unending trouble in the land. He visited the first modern RUGA reserve being built by the Matawalle administration to settle those who have accepted the ‘carrot’ among the bandits troubling the State. Sheikh Gumi commended the governor for this initiative, endorsed it and prayed for its success.
Indeed, the peace process in Zamfara State is working. It works not because of the way it has been designed, but because of the sincerity, resilience and committment to agreements reached in the process. Today, even with the many spanners thrown into the works by enemies of peace, the process is still on without blemish. The situation has, however, demanded for a review of the whole process which birthed the “carrot and stick approach” presently operational in the State.
As the saying goes, truth is sacred. One who stands by the truth will be vindicated by the truth. Only last week, the renowned Sheikh has equally embarked on a peace mission, within the “carrot” approach to peace, in Kaduna State. Significantly, he noted that the State government had endorsed it! Simultaneosly, other States in the zone are secretly admiring it and seeking to buy into this unique peacebuilding initiative. Quite intersting, the professional critics of the Matawalle peace process have become mute on this one, which signals their endorsement of its distinction.
The cat has been let out of the bag by Sheikh Gumi at this hour. And those who initially kicked against Matawalle’s peace process have been shown for the hypocrites which they are, as their motivations can only be those of ulterior reasons that are inimical to humanity. Sheikh Gumi has done nothing in the past one week but to further endorse and take the Matawalle initiative to a new height through the platform of the religious pulpit. The Sheikh’s visit to Zamfara State is a testimony from a respected quarter that Matawalle is indeed right and his antagonists are not.
It should be very clear that the peace process currently working in Zamfara state is the only truth at hand and the only workable solution to the advancing menace of banditry in the State and the region, which, happily, its antagonists are now grudgingly and covertly seeking to imbibe.
Zailani Bappa writes from Gusau.