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Abducted Kagara Students May Regain Freedom Today-Sheik Gumi



Sheikh Gumi

Respected Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has hinted at the release of the kidnapped student of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.

According to the cleric, the kidnapped children might be released today, Sunday, February 21.

This development comes four days after the abduction of some students of the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.

Recall that some bandits had on Wednesday, February 17, invaded the school and whisked away 27 pupils and 15 staff members after killing a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil.

Speaking on Saturday, February 20, Gumi said there was a possibility that the abductees might regain freedom on Sunday, February 21, given ongoing talks between the government and the bandits.

Gumi, who recently held a parley with some bandits in Zamfara State forests and consequently called for amnesty for bandits, noted that the negotiation for the release of the school children and members of staff was slowed down due to logistics, adding that the negotiation does not involve payment of ransom.

He was quoted to have said: “What I hear from (our contact) is that they are still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members) and hopefully, hopefully, 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 you are 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.”

However, Sheikh Gumi said that the negotiation does not involve money, adding that if it does, it means the same criminality.

He also noted that the bandits are mainly asking the state to release their comrades in the custody of security agencies.

He noted: “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.”

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