- There is now an assurance that Niger captives will be leaving kidnappers' den soon
- This came after Sheik Abubakar Ahmed Gumi met with bandits in Kaduna forests
- Gumi was reported to have had talks with commanders of the bandit gang
PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates!
Sheik Abubakar Ahmed Gumi, the fearless Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, has met with bandits hiding in forests located between Tegina and Birnin Gwari areas of the state.
The Nation reports that after his meeting with the criminals, Sheik Gumi told journalists that the Niger captives will be released in no time.
A source within the Gumi-led delegation said the scholar had talks with the gang leader, Dogo Gide, among other commanders at Dutsen Magaji forest.
According to the same source, the Niger state government also sent delegates to dialogue with the bandits.
Meanwhile, Gumi had declared that bandits learnt kidnapping from the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND). MEND was on the frontline of kidnappings when expatriates and oil workers were abducted during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
While kidnapping was fast becoming a thing of the past among militants, bandits have been abducting residents in different parts of the country.
Gumi on Tuesday, February 16, said if the federal government could grant amnesty to militants, why can’t the same gesture be extended to bandits.
The northern leader said if the federal government grants them amnesty, bandits would expose those perpetrating criminality.
“We didn’t take a different route of trying to solve this problem and that is why we are still here today. And when we say amnesty, we don’t mean that anyone proved to be involved in murder should go free as such.
“They learnt kidnapping from MEND. I do not see any difference. They were the first victims of rustling. Their cattle is their oil. What we are seeing now is more of an insurgency than banditry. I can say 10 percent of the herders are criminals not 90 percent, in the end, they took up weapons to protect themselves from extinction."
Onyirioha Nnamdi is a graduate of Literature and English Language at the University of Lagos. He is a Politics/Current Affairs Editor who writes on news and political topics for Legit.ng. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in creative and analytical writing. Nnamdi has a major interest in local and global politics.