From Molly Kilete, Abuja and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Department of State Service (DSS) has quizzed controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, over remarks he made on Arise Television that some Nigerian soldiers might be aiding and abetting bandits.
A Voice of America (VOA) Hausa service report monitored on Friday said Gumi was invited to the Kaduna office of the DSS, after the military authorities took exception to comments by Sheikh Gumi alleging that their operatives were conniving with bandits.
However, Gumi’s spokesman, Malam Tukur Mamu in an interview with VOA Hausa Service, dismissed the allegation against Gumi, saying there was nowhere in the TV interview where Gumi categorically accused the entire military.
Meanwhile Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has debunked reports that he was invited or quizzed by the DSS.
“Nobody Invited me for questioning or any arrest, I can say that categorically,” the Sheik said, adding, “since I ventured into the forest, I went there with full security, the police, with the knowledge of the DSS, traditional rulers and the Fulani leaders, I never went alone”.
The DSS on Friday confirmed that it invited Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi for questioning.
DSS Public Relations Officer Peter Afunaya, who made this known on the service platform in Abuja, said It was not out of place for the service to invite any person of interest.
Gumi’s invitation by the DSS might not be unconnected with allegations reportedly made by him that soldiers and security agents were working with bandits to carry out criminal activities.
Gumi made the allegation when he appeared on ARISE TV on Wednesday, an allegation which the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor have since debunked.
General Irabor had at a meeting with retired senior military officers at Ibadan, Thursday, described those accusing the military of conniving with bandits to be hallucinating.