Sheikh Gumi Gives Fresh Update on Abducted Kagara School Children

Influential Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, said on Saturday that the kidnapped Kagara school children might be released today.

Bandits, donning a military uniform, had on Wednesday around 2 a.m invaded Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State and whisked away 27 pupils and 15 staff members after killing a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil.

The incident has created nationwide agitation and worries over the kidnapped pupils’ safety and school staff members, who were whisked away into the bush by the bandits.

Gumi, who has been in talks with the bandits in the forest, told Sunday PUNCH that there was a possibility that the abductees might regain freedom today, given ongoing discussions between the government and the bandits.

The cleric, who recently held a parley with some bandits in Zamfara State forests and consequently called for amnesty for bandits, told newsmen that the negotiation for the schoolchildren’s release and members of staff was slowed down due to logistics.

According to Gumi, the negotiation does not involve the payment of ransom.

Speaking on the phone with newsmen on Saturday, Gumi said, “What I hear from (our contact) is that they are still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members), and we will get them tomorrow (Sunday), hopefully.

“Up till now, they have not been able to identify the boys, who (did the kidnapping). You know they are splinter groups. So, when dealing with groups like that in a vast area, with no communication, no road, then it has to be slow. But the main actors are ready to negotiate and stop the kidnapping altogether.”

Asked if the negotiation involved money, Gumi said, “No, no; it does not. If it involves money, it means the same criminality. They are saying these are our conditions and we will stop this thing. So, negotiation is ongoing and their demands are being looked into, which are very simple.”

According to Gumi, the bandits are mainly asking the state to release their comrades in security agencies’ custody.

He explained, “They have just four people in detention and they are asking for them. They also need assurance and that is why we are calling for amnesty for them. They have been fighting for a long time; it’s been more than eight years.

“These people are fighting for their existence because when they go to town, they are lynched, when the police see them on the road, they arrest them; sometimes they are executed extrajudicially, so they took arms against the state. When you give them amnesty, all of them will drop their weapons.”

But four days into the abduction, bandits have continued to run riot on communities in Kaduna and Katsina states.

Oluwashina Odebode

Social Media Influencer || Blogger & Content Developer.

Drop Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next Post

Osun communal clash: 'How we escaped gunshots fired at close range'

Sun Feb 21 , 2021
Hammed Azeez Pin it But for the intervention of some ‘wise men’, the communal clash between two Osun communities, Erin-Osun and Ilobu, last week would have lasted longer than it did. The crisis, which began on the night of Saturday February 6 and continued till Sunday February 7, reportedly claimed […]
%d bloggers like this: