Nigeria should give ‘blanket amnesty’ to bandits, Sheikh Gumi tells FG

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi (left) seen here meeting with suspected kidnappers of Kagara students in Tagina Forest, Niger State

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, a popular Nigerian Islamic scholar, has called on the Federal Government to give bandits willing to make peace ‘blanket amnesty’ if the country’s security situation must be tackled.

Gumi, a religious figure from Nigeria’s not, said this on Friday, while addressing journalists in Minna, the Niger State capital.

According to him, “The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them.”

Sheik Gumi who has been on discussions with the bandits, giving updates on their demands during his visit to the camp of those operating in Niger State, said, the notorious insurgent lamented being killed and maimed unjustly by government operatives.

Speaking on their meetings, he said, “The outcome is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances, we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched.”

On the kidnap of Kagara schoolchildren, Sheik Gumi said in his secret visit to the bandits, there appeared to be a positive response from those holding the students and their staff captive, but he did not conform if any of the students has been released.

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It will be recalled that gunmen had gained access to Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, around 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and abducted scores of students, including their teachers and many others.

The school principal who escaped from the attack, speaking to the media, said the gunmen came in military uniform and shot sporadically into the air.

According to the principal, he said the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff including a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels, and in the process, one student was conformed killed during the attack.

In recent times, kidnappers have targeted schools in Nigeria, such that within three months ago, scores of students have been abducted.

Earlier before the last, scores of schoolchildren from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, were abducted by bandits, but were later released after some days.

Likewise, it was only recently in Niger State that armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.