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NUJ: In saner climes, Sheikh Gumi should have been arrested

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Friday, called for the arrest of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, for saying journalists are criminals for calling bandits criminals.

The union expressed reservation on Gumi’s remarks during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday where he labelled journalists as criminals for calling bandits criminals.

In his interview, Gumi said: “You are emphasising on criminality, I don’t know. Even the Press (journalists) are criminals too because they are putting oil into fire [sic]. These people are listening to you, don’t address them as criminals”.

“It is instructive to note that one of the gangs that were recently interviewed by Nigerian journalist, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz and published in Daily Trust of today where the bandit leader insisted on being introduced properly as “Kachalla Halilu Sububu Seno, Leader of all Terrorists. He is the Leader. Yet Malam Gumi insists they are not criminals.”

In his reaction to the statement, Chris Isiguzo, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), in a statement issued on Friday said, “We do not see any correlation between journalism and criminality.”

The statement in part reads; “This unnecessary and unprovoked attack on members of the media by a hitherto respected cleric who decided to embark on strange errands, is unacceptable and it is becoming clearer now that he is pursuing a different agenda.

“We equally recall a recent statement credited to Sheik Gumi where he was inciting bandits, by encouraging religious biases among soldiers on the battlefield.

“We are more shocked that the same Sheik Gumi who has used the media to speak to leaders and to advance the course of his mission to the bandits across the Northwest, is at the same time attacking the Journalists for simply describing bandits as criminals.

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