A group under the aegis of Middle Belt Forum has alleged that the Muslim faithful; especially from the northern Nigeria lead by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi have declined the conduct of census in the region, reports page3news.com.ng
The National President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus in a statement made available to page3news.com.ng said the National Population Commission, NPC has been frustrated by the Islamic Cleric not to conduct any credible Census.
According to him, “Our Muslims brothers, especially from the North, have always resisted the conduct of a census exercise to determine the actual number of people and their various religious/tribal inclinations in the North and in the Country at large. The National Population Commission has been frustrated by the likes of Gumi not to conduct any credible Census because of the lucrative advantage the so-called North has in the lopsided skewed figures currently deployed in the Nigerian structure that gives them undue advantage over other parts of Nigeria.”
He added that “Inflammatory statements like that of Gumi and his type will end if the nation conducts a credible electronic census that will automatically RESTRUCTURE Nigeria. It is our firm belief that a viable Census will end the tribal/religious acrimony often utilised by characters like Gumi to intimidate other Nigerians when advancing sectional ideals.
In times like this when government is engaged in rescuing the country from the claws of insurgents and bandits, religiously divisive comments by preachers like Gumi is an attempt to throw the country into religious war.”
Dr Bitrus emphasized that for purposes of clarity, the Middle Belt Forum is an organisation comprising the ethnic nationalities of the Middle Belt Region that stretches across the middle section of Nigeria. “The Middle Belt Forum serves the peoples of the Middle Belt who are multi-religious (Christian, Muslim and Traditional worshipers) living peacefully together. The FCT was originally inhabited by the Gbagyi people who were dislodged from their ancestral lands by the Nigerian State to create the Federal Capital Territory that Gumi and his gang are now laying claim to. Gumi’s vulgarity is not just insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians, but a further display of the despicable arrogance associated with Gumi’s Fulani stock who have used state power to capture, manipulate and enthrone themselves over Nigeria and its resources. It is characters like Gumi and his co-travellers that give oxygen to religious bigotry and endanger Nigeria’s unity. Gumi should be reminded that those who call for rain must remember that they, too, shall be wet when the rain finally falls.”