Gumi was detained in Saudi Arabia, where he has resided for many years, at the behest of the United States on no better grounds than that the phone number of Faruk Umar Abdul Mutallab, the alleged under-pant bomber, was found in the cleric's handset.
But Babangida stressed that Sheik Gumi has grown to become a reference point in Nigeria by touching the lives of others like his late father who also touched the lives of many through his very rewarding preachings that helped to orient the minds of people especially adherents of the Islamic faith.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to Journalists in Abuja yesterday, the former President said, “the arrest and release of Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi is a call for total submission to the will of Almighty Allah in every man’s conduct in life.
“The life style, preaching and sermons of Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Gumi is one that has become exemplary to several muslim umma in Nigeria because of his theme of peace and harmonious relationship amongst a people that share different religious beliefs. He has grown to become a reference point in Nigeria same way that his Late father touched the lives of many through his very rewarding preachings that helped to orient the minds of people especially adherents of the Islamic faith.
“Against the background of the peaceful antecedent of this great preacher and lover of humanity, one finds it rather disturbing that he was arrested and detained before he finally gained his freedom a few days ago. Dr. Ahmad Gumi is a cleric that is well known to me.
“He does not come across as a man who can hurt a fly and the message in most of his preaching dwells so much on tolerance, perseverance, resilience, loyalty to established authority, respect for mankind and love for one another, non-violence, and peaceful co-existence in the country. Such a cleric should be encouraged to help mould and shape opinion of the upcoming generations to live a good life with the fear of Allah at heart.
“On behalf of my family, I wish to express our sympathies to Dr. Ahmad Gumi and members of his family over the incident. I also wish to express my profound gratitude to the people and government of Saudi Arabia for exonerating him from any complicity over the allegations.
This move will further help to cement and sustain the existing relationship between the government of Nigeria and that of Saudi Arabia. Whatever happens in one’s life has been decreed by the Almighty Allah. Rather than dampen, it should help to lift our spirit in worship and submission to Almighty Allah.
“With the Ramadan coming to a close, I am looking forward to welcoming Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Gumi back to Nigeria in happy reunion with members of his family and his numerous associates and followers. May the Almighty Allah continue to guide us on the path of those who He favours and not on the path of those who have gone astray. Amin. May Allah grant us long life and prosperity in service to humanity.”