Ahmed Gumi, a prominent Islamic scholar, says his presence at the reconciliation meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar, was to ensure peace.
Gumi said this in response to the criticisms that have trailed his visit to the Obasanjo’s residence, alongside the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku.
Speaking with Daily Trust in Kaduna, the Islamic scholar said his attendance at the meeting was not a political move but that he acted according to Islamic ruling by making himself available to a process meant to ensure peace.
The cleric said he was invited because the parties involved wanted clergies from both the Islamic and Christian faiths that are non-partisan.
“It was the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad that whenever you are invited for a peace or reconciliation meeting even between Muslim and non-Muslim, the Prophet said you should attend it because Islam is concerned about peace,” he said.
“The Qur’an said any consultation or any conference that doesn’t address charity or doesn’t encourage reconciliation between people is not good. So Allah is encouraging us to reconcile people and that is exactly what happened.
“So I took it as not a political move but a peaceful move and seeing leaders coming together trying to forgive each other and I’m very happy about that.”
Gumi said he advised the two political leaders to learn to forgive, forget and face the future.
He noted that reconciliation is good in a nation with diverse groups like Nigeria, adding that he was not bothered by the backlash the meeting generated.
“These are the four Fs we told them. They don’t have to come back and swallow their vomit. We emphasized on that and we showed them the importance of uniting and they must stay away from disintegration,” he said.
“On their own political side it has to do with 2019 and it has to do with politics as I was made to understand, but on my side, any move that prevents unity I’m against it.
“I’m not bothered at all because I know that some people in Nigeria, the only thing they know is abusing and criticising. We are in hunger and in a terrible situation but they have nothing to offer except abuses”.