A prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, yesterday said he had no ill-feelings towards the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
He was reacting to recent media reports, which quoted him during a meeting with the leadership of the pan-Igbo group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Kaduna, as kicking against the presidential ambition of Mr. Buhari, who he purportedly said was not entirely corruption-free as his supporters would believe.
A statement posted on his Facebook page read in part: “As an Islamic scholar, supporters of President Jonathan or General Buhari should not expect me to embark on any campaign or to compel people to vote for a candidate they don’t want. My responsibility is to guide and alert the nation on what I know and my conviction, while the people have the final say. In the process, like all mortals, I could be wrong. What is important in Islam is to act strictly for the sake of Allah.
“I have not said, as reported, that General Buhari is also corrupt as purported and erroneously disseminated. In any case, it is not my duty to determine whether anybody is corrupt or not, or to even pass a damning verdict on him”.
The Islamic scholar said he was non-partisan and had no sympathy for any political party or politicians, adding that the recent media reports were a deliberate attempt to mislead the public on his position, as many viewed it as being anti-Buhari or an indirect endorsement of Jonathan.
Gumi maintained that he would always ensure that the rule of law prevails, advising major stakeholders to avoid heating the already saturated polity.
He admitted advising the political parties in the past “to do away with the candidatures of Jonathan and Buhari because of the potential dangers” of supporting them. He, however, said since both have emerged candidates of their respective political parties, Nigerians must now brace up to accept the outcome of the 2015 elections.