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Should Peter Obi Have Visited Gumi?

There have been mixed reactions regarding the Labour Party's presidential candidate, Peter Obi's visit to a controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi.

On Monday, Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed paid a courtesy visit to the cleric at his residence in Kaduna State.

“Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed and I stopped by for a courtesy call on Sheikh Gumi at his official residence in Kaduna,” Obi tweeted.

Critics have since argued that a visit to the Islamic scholar, whose comments have been interpreted to support terrorists and bandits, was a poor move.

But Public Affairs analyst, Gbolahan Olojede argues against that.

In an interview on Morning Crossfire, Olojede noted that traditional rulers, religious leaders, and political leaders are the major influences on voting in the north. 

He added that reaching out to Gumi, a cleric with large followership, is sensible as Obi tries to expand his reach in that part of the country.

Moreover, Gumi is one of the people who will need to be engaged by whichever government wins the 2023 presidential election since he knows a few things about the insurgent community, Olojede said.

"So because you are out there, you read the newspaper about what they have written about a particular man, you say you don’t want to talk to him?

"Sit with him, listen to him. He has a perspective. It is in your understanding of his perspective that you know how to develop your own strategy."

 

 


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