Defeating Boko Haram: What North Should Do – Gen Gumi

Brigadier-General Abdulqadir Abubakar Gumi (retd.) has claimed that not only the federal government, but also Nigeria’s Muslim community bear responsibility for the fight against Boko Haram.
Brigadier-General Abdulqadir Abubakar Gumi (retd.) has claimed that not only the federal government, but also Nigeria’s Muslim community bear responsibility for the fight against Boko Haram.


The former director of legal services of the Nigerian Army, who is the brother of Islamic scholar Sheikh Mahmud Gumi, said the North must rise up for the insurgency to be crushed in the country.

Leadership provides extracts from his paper titled “How To Break Boko Haram II”.

“Muslims were hitherto designated as the main complainants/victims of the insurgency and, by extension, the entire Northern Nigeria which formed the battleground.”

He said that it was wrong “for the Northern establishments to rely fully on the government or the National Assembly for all initiatives needed to prosecute the BH insurgency”.

“They (North) should bear in mind that no federal body is structured to either project the North, faith, regional-based entity or targeted situations. The North, being directly devastated by the insurgency as ground zero, needs to design its peculiar defence mechanisms common or suitable to its heritage.

“This would fill in survival gaps or at the least improve its disposition as to compel the constituted federal structure to be alive to its responsibilities whenever its social fabrics are threatened.

“The attitude to wait for an election year before action would amount to accepting the kind of casualties and losses realized within the period for the democracy we have chosen for ourselves.

“Apathy and total reliance on government structures for all obligations, checks and balances turn silly a critique as to deserve no ears of a serious responder. The law itself, after all, does not rise up to the indolent.

“It behoves on ‘the Cloaked one,’ the waiting to be fed, the victim, every Muslim, group of Muslims and Christians of the North who insist that the situation must change, to come out and isolate himself/themselves from the violent ideology that sets itself on war path with fellow countrymen.”

He said that rooting out Boko Haram, which is falsely claiming to propagate Muslim tenets “without distinguishing it from the majority of Muslim orthodox or traditional teachings will only leave Muslims generally hanging as accused persons”.

He also suggested a summit “of all the known Islamic groups in order to achieve common declarations on the BH phenomenon, reaffirm respect and mutual confidence in Christians across and reiterate the universality and commonality of the local and orthodox content of Islam to fellow countrymen”.

“It stands out that there is urgent need for a Muslim summit to discuss the items of the agenda and to re-establish gaps that had eroded in the past to have paved way for the current unfortunate situation.

“The aegis of the Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) is suggested as the umbrella body under which all Muslim organizations will come in to marshal the communiqué required for government support and other parallel actions.

“Firm declarations need to be made that will re-establish the confidence of Christians and the international community in the Muslims of Nigeria, that they are peaceful and law-abiding like they have always been in the past.

“The summit may also wish to conclude by a recap of the universality and ‘immemorability’ of Islamic heritage and its contribution to the making of the modern World.”

Gumi blamed Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, for the current travails of Muslims and the north.

“He has been on the scene for too long to claim innocence, and for his own quality and experience. He has danced along the fault lines of secular and religious Nigeria since 1975 when, as head of state, he collected missionary schools from the churches and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and simultaneously recruited retired soldiers to government schools to impose corporal discipline in place of clergy and moral dominance in our schools.

“He again supervised and restored the first walkout of Muslim representatives to the constitution drafting committee of 1979 and was again to benefit from another similar walkout in 1999 after which he became the next civilian president.

“His government denied the federal courts an adjudicative opportunity that could assuage the situation to probably fill in the gaps that Sharia needed to have natural growth and level-playing field like any other sensitive aspect of our lives.

“The various legislative houses at different levels were consequently also denied the opportunity to pick up better initiatives from the judiciary, to carry on together with the executive arm the Sharia discourse and development across those places it needed to make positive inroads like all other matters of common concerns.”

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