Controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has condemned the hiring of private jets by politicians to attend the wedding ceremony of the Yusuf Buhari, the son of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The president’s son married Zarah Bayero, the daughter of Emir of Bichi, Nasiru Bayero in a grand ceremony held in Bichi, Kano.
The wedding was attended President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, serving and former governors, traditional rulers, as well as prominent personalities from within and outside the country.
But Mr Gumi faulted Nigerian politicians for hiring private jets to attend the wedding during a preaching programme at Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna.
“Umar bn Kattab once took 16 dinar, which is equivalent to N2,040,000 today, from the treasury as estacode to Hajj. After their return, Umar admitted to Abdallah that they wasted public funds.
“Somebody told me private jets in Nigeria were all hired for the wedding of Buhari’s son. With your money, you can’t get a private jet because they were all booked.
“Some people are in captivity in both the bush and cities. Hunger is everywhere. People are facing all manner of problems, yet politicians spent public funds on private jets.
“When Prophet Mohammed married off his daughter, who came from Mecca or Yemen? In the entire Medina no righteous persons to oversee the solemnisation?
“First it was not an obligatory religious gathering. Umar bn Kattab went to Hajj. Second, public funds were taken to hire the private jets.
The cleric lamented about how politicians corrupted the clergy, saying religious leaders have become subservient to politicians.
“Some religious leaders cannot survive without behaving in servile manner towards politicians.
“Politicians have spoilt the clerics. Atrocities are committed in the country but no one can speak up.
“You are spending money to hire jets to go to wedding, while criminals are holding people to ransom in the bush. The criminals (bandits) are milking the people.
“Some people have never earned N1million in their life, but bandits would demand N10million. How many people sold their houses, farms, everything… and collected loans to pay ransom?
“People think only those in the bush (bandits) milk us dry, no! Even our leaders milk us dry. Where did they get the money to hire all these jets?
“In one of the states, some pictures of a dilapidated hospital were sent to me. The roof was blown off and a patient was lying on the bed. That governor is in Kano to attend wedding.
“How many schools were rehabilitated? The money that should be used to cater for the people is the one they hire private jets to junket around. Are you not also a bandit?
“We vent our anger against ourselves, other tribes. People are left killing themselves because of poor leadership,” Mr Gumi added.
By Ibrahim Ramalan