By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi has said that the insecurity that afflicted Nigeria was a dark cloud that would soon pass.
The Kaduna-based cleric made the observation in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, soon after a visit to the forest in the River Niger area on Wednesday, 24th November, 2021
This was contained in a statement issued by Tukur Mamu,spokesperson to the Sheikh Gumi.
It was a medical mission, which the cleric undertook together with a dedicated and fully equipped medical van, medical personnel and drugs worth N20 million.
The group visited the strategic Rugan Zubairu settlement located in the forest in Kogi State where a large number of Fulani herdsmen relocated after the recent violence and attacks in the South-east and South-west displaced them.
During this yet another dangerous trip, Sheikh Gumi and his team travelled in boats in order to see for themselves the enormous economic potentials available in the North.
The entourage included the Publisher of Desert Herald newspapers, Malam Tukur Mamu (Dan-Iyan Fika), who is also Gumi’s media consultant; a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf; retired Colonel Sambo Diri, Malam Nasiru Ayuba, as well as the representatives of some media organisations, the DSS and the Police, among others.
They travelled on the waters of the historic River Niger for more than an hour until they reached River Benue.
After reaching its riverside destination, the team walked for more than two kilometres through the mountains and creeks until they reached the cattle herders’ settlement.
Sheikh Gumi took time to discuss with fishermen in the area, who lamented that due to the policies of various governments that abandoned the huge potentials in the two rivers and failed to develop their capacity to attract fish, the rivers are now running out of fish.
In view of the alarming rate of poverty, unemployment and insecurity that devastated the North, Sheikh Gumi’s purpose of taking the dangerous
trip to the two rivers was to show to the world that the North and its people have no reason to be poor if the past and present sets of leaders had prioritised the development of such important sectors.
Sheikh Gumi said if well-harnessed, the Niger and Benue rivers have the capacity to create millions of jobs for Northerners and that there would not have been the need for young people, including the Fulani, to engage in crime.
He lamented how former President Goodluck Jonathan and the current APC leadership abandoned the dream project of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to dredge the two rivers for the purpose of boosting economic activities.
Sheikh Gumi said if the whole eight eight years of the Buhari Administration had been dedicated to the dredging of the two rivers only, without doing anything else for the North, it would have been enough legacy for the present and future generations.
During a chat with the press at the river side, Sheikh Gumi called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify the dredging of the rivers as a lasting legacy and a solution to the lingering insecurity in the North, pointing out that even though the North is richer than the South, the past leaders did not prioritise the resuscitation and development of key sectors of the northern economy.
He called on all Nigerians to unite, saying with the abundant natural resources the nation has, they do not have any reason to be fighting each other.
He said if those Nigerians calling for secession and breakup knew the potentials in the North and what they stood to gain if the nation stayed together in peace, the agitations and incitements in the name of self-determination or breakup would not have arisen.
From their adventure on the rivers, Sheikh Gumi and his entourage proceeded to the palace of the Emir of Koton Karfe, HRM Alhaji Abdulrazak Isa Koto, on a courtesy call.
While receiving them, the emir thanked Sheikh Gumi for the visit and his untiring peace-building efforts and reaching out to the bandits in search of solution to the insecurity in the northern part of the country.
Sheikh Gumi also thanked the royal father for hosting him and his team and for the gift he gave him.
The mobile clinic provided by Sheikh Gumi at Rugan Zubairu in the Kaba forest will stay there for two months with the medical team to provide primary and minor secondary services to the herdsmen, as well as anybody requiring such assistance.