50102: Nigerian Saudi based Cleric arrested in Mecca in connection with al-Qaida

A Nigerian based Saudi cleric, Dr Ahmad Gummi has been arrested by the Saudi authorities at his house in Mecca.

Dr Gummi who is widely seen as a controversial Islamic preacher was arrested Thursday last week by the Saudi Arabian secret police although both the Nigerian mission in Riyadh and family sources in Abuja could not specify the exact accusations behind his arrest.

However, an impeccable source confirmed that the arrest was as a result of his link with Al-Qaida, a top group listed by America and her allies as terrorist group.

Dr. Ahmad is a son of a famous scholar the late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gummi. Dr. Gummi a trained medical doctor and a retired Major in the Nigerian Army. He returned to Nigeria from his Saudi base about ten years ago and began the annual Ramadan preaching at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna, in succession to the late Sheikh Lawal Abubakar.

Sheikh Lawal himself had taken up at the Ramadan sermons after the demise of Dr. Ahmad’s father, Sheikh Abubakar Gummi in 1991. His sermons soon became very controversial for the attacks on the Dariqa and Shiite sects. Although he resides in Saudi Arabia, he returns to Nigeria just before the Ramadan fast every year to conduct the sermons.

Dr. Gummi’s confrontational gesture was too direct especially on the Shiites followers in Nigeria and beyond. He had declared at various avenues especially during his Ramadan preaching that the Shiites’ blood could be shade because they are infidels (Kufrs). He tried to insight unrest among the followers of different Islamic sects in Nigeria. He does not respect any expect his own which is Salafiyyah.

The Nigerian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Abdullahi Garba Aminci in a statement confirmed the arrest. He said, “It is true he is being held, but we do not have information as to why they (the police) invited him.”

Gummi’s younger brother Abdulqadir Abubakar also said in a statement on behalf of family that they were still trying to get information as to why the Sheikh was being held. “We have no idea why they are holding him,” Abubakar said.

Aminci said Dr. Ahmad’s family reported to the mission that security men in plain cloth came to their home in Makkah and asked Gummi to go with them. They took away cassettes, books and computer, but did not say why they were picking him up.

Aminci said on learning about the ‘invitation’ he instructed the consul-general in Jeddah to find out what was happening. He said officials of the consulate contacted the authorities of the Saudi secret police, who admitted they were holding Gummi and said they would give the embassy a report. The embassy was still waiting for the report as at yesterday, he added.

Aminci said Ahmad’s “invitation” by the police may be connected to the scholar’s “religious activities”, given that they took away religious books, records of preaching and a computer.

Gummi had recently travelled to Malaysia, he said. Two Nigerian students in Malaysia were arrested last month on suspicion of belonging to terrorist groups.

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