After being called out by the Nigerian Army for making inciting and religiously bias comments, popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has reacted, stating that he was misunderstood.
Gumi said that the religious bias he alleged in the Nigerian Army took place between 2010 and 2015, explaining that his earlier comments were misunderstood, a development he blamed media reports for.
In a video clip, that went viral, the Islamic scholar was seen telling the bandits that soldiers are divided into Muslims and non-Muslims.
However, the Nigerian Army cautioned Gumi against making such divisive and disparaging utterances against the military institutions.
The Nigerian army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said the army did not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines as stated by the cleric during his interaction with bandits.
Yerima, in his statement on Monday, titled: ‘Nigerian Army does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines,’ charged the cleric and other opinion merchants to exercise restraint and not drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.
However, Gumi told BBC that he saw the army’s response but feels there was a misunderstanding.
Gumi, a retired army Captain, noted that he had a good understanding of the Nigerian Army, adding that many things have not changed since he left the force
“I saw the Army’s response. What I will say is that there is a misunderstanding in the issues. When I speak about the religious issue in the Army, I am not referring to today’s Army. The issue is from 2010-2015 when some people were in-charge and a lot of bad things happened.
“It is during that time that there were bombings everywhere. It happened in Jaji and we lost a popular Muslim general. Even, I was saved by God because they planted a bomb for me.”