Renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has assured that the abducted Kagara students and staffers would be released soon.
Bandits had abducted students and staffers of Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area Niger State and shot one dead on Wednesday.
Gumi said this Friday after his meeting with the leader of bandits, Dogo Gide, among other top commanders in Dutsen Magaji Forest in Tegin and Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.
He expressed optimism that dialoguing with the bandits will put an end to the current insecurity in the State and country at large.
Sheikh Gumi reminded the hoodlums that Islam is against taking the lives of innocent people and appealed to them to embrace peace by laying down their arms.
The Kaduna-based Islamic scholar told the bandits that he would continue to discuss with Niger State Government to explore whatever assistance and support Government will give to them with a view to achieving the set objectives.
Some of the Commanders in their separate remarks applauded the State Government for the peace process, stressing that it would go a long way in restoring peace across the state.
The bandits appealed to the State Government to assist in releasing of their members arrested by security agencies and detained across the state for the peace process to thrive.
The highlight of the occasion was the distribution of Islamic Books to the bandits by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi to teach them the doctrine of Islam.
Despite the criticism that trailed Gumi’s suggestion that government should grant blanket amnesty to the bandits, the Islamic scholar has plunged into another controversy.
However, some Nigerians have reacted to the involvement of Gumi in negotiating for the release of the abductees while the security agents are not aware and could trace the hide-out of the bandits.
Bello Shagari penned ”When Sheik Gumi started his mission. Someone told me that the man is likely to be misunderstood. It is happening already.
F. S. Yusuf @FS_Yusuf said ”I recall how DSS invited the former CBN Governors Obadiah Mailafia, thrice, over Boko Haram governor’ comment. How comes Sheikh Gumi can confidently locate & linked up with different sects of d TERRORISTS without the DSS inviting him for some crucial information gathering?
Meanwhile, Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has debunked the news making the rounds on the release of the abducted Kagara students, saying they are mere rumors and speculations.
Dismissing this claim at a press conference Friday afternoon, Governor Bello said ”Everything that is being said out there is rumour and in situations like this, we cannot work with rumour, it has to be confirmed. Yes, we’ve been receiving different rumours from different people within villages but we are still treating those as rumour until processed and confirmed.”
Bello said this during a briefing after meeting with Sheikh Ahmad Gumi at Government House.
A few hours ago, rumor was rife on social media that the abducted students have been released from captivity.