The last may not have been heard about the arrest of a negotiator, Mr. Tukur Mamu, as a retired General of the Nigerian Army has demanded the immediate invitation, and interrogation of a Kaduna-based Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi.
The retired one-star General, who spoke to Sunday Telegraph on the condition of anonymity, said the respected Islamic teacher should naturally be a person of interest to the Federal Government, considering the relationship that exists between him and Mamu, who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Apart from being Gumi’s spokesperson, Mamu had been involved in the negotiation for the release of Abuja/Kaduna train passengers, abducted by suspected bandits in March.
The DSS had said that incriminating materials were found in Mamu’s residence, during a search operation by security operatives.
In a terse statement by its spokesperson, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the Service had said: “So far, appropriate security agencies have executed valid search warrants on Mamu’s residence and office.
“During the processes, incriminating materials, including military accoutrements were recovered.”
Asked if he supports calls in some quarters for the invitation of Gumi, the retired senior officer said: “Of course…That is the irresistible thing. Honestly, it is an irresistible conclusion to be drawn from government that the man ought to be invited”
According to him: “If you arrest somebody, who is my spokesperson, in a situation where I had acted, where I had posited to act as a negotiator, between that group (suspected bandits), and my government, and somebody, who (allegedly) speaks on my behalf, is accused, or is arrested, and the evidence are there to find out that his act, or his omission, in many cases, (allegedly) incriminated me (the person he purports to be acting for), then what is bad about the government inviting me (Sheikh Gumi, in the instance), to make some clarifications on issues that have already affected my personality.
“So, there is nothing bad about inviting Sheikh Gumi, to come and clarify one or two things.
“So, government should not drag their foot to call Sheikh Gumi to come and make some clarifications. The government should not drag its feet to call Sheikh Gumi to question him.
“Why should they drag their feet, to invite Gumi, to question him, to make clarifications as to what and what have been said by his spokesperson. So, there is nothing bad about that”.