During this weekend’s SaharaTV broadcast, which kicked off the platform's 2015 Nigerian presidential election coverage, many of the most critical discussions were centered around not just the politics leading up to the contest, but the incessant Boko Haram militancy in the northern part of the country, a violence that has seemingly intensified in recent weeks.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, one of Nigeria’s top Islamic clerics, known for his strong and often controversial opinions, spoke to Sahara TV at length about the insecurity crisis and its effect on the political landscape in Nigeria.
Recently, Gumi was quoted as saying that he is not a politician and does not have sympathy for any of the political parties, but warns the two main presidential candidates, President Jonathan and Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) against contesting in the presidential elections this year.
Regarding the Boko Haram menace in the north, the cleric further acknowledged that it is a problem of the northern region of the country and more specifically the Muslim population. “Kanuris, Fulanis and Hausas are the Boko Haram," Gumi told SaharaTV. The government initially thought it wass a northern problem, leave them let them kill themselves.”
Gumi additionally suggested that Muslims in the north sit down to tackle the issue, supported by the government, and the government supported by the international community. “Coordination between these three will lead to an end to Boko Haram," he stated.
Also touching on the recent Charlie Hebdo incident in France, which left many writers and artists at the satirical magazine dead, Gumi stated clearly that the Qur’an does not support violence. “Leniency beautifies everything and violence tarnishes everything," he said, quoting the Prophet Muhammed. “The Qur’an does not encourage anyone to pick arms and fight.”
Gumi however also said that people should not hide behind freedom of speech to condemn other people’s faith.
Watch the full interview and others at saharareporters.tv.