Sheikh Ahmed Gumi
After being reprimanded by the Nigerian army for making inciting statements, popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi has broken his silence.
Reacting, the cleric said the religious bias he spoke about in the Nigerian Army took place between 2010 and 2015.
He explained his earlier comments were misunderstood, blaming media reports for the misunderstanding.
The retired general noted he had a good understanding of the Nigerian Army, adding that many things have not changed since he left the force.
In a clip, the Islamic scholar was seen telling the bandits that soldiers are divided into Muslims and non-Muslims.
But the Nigerian Army cautioned Gumi against making divisive and disparaging utterances against the military institutions.
The army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, while reacting to the video, 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,’ admonished 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.”
But Gumi told BBC: “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.”