- The release of the abducted students of the Kaduna forestry college has been attributed to the help of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi
- The Islamic cleric has insisted that negotiating with bandits will end kidnapping
- Gumi appealed to the government to engage with the bandits so that they can surrender
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, has opened on how he secured the release of 37 abducted students of the College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, Igabi LGA, Kaduna state.
The Punch reports that the Islamic scholar insisted that the only way to end kidnapping and other criminal activities across the country is by negotiating with bandits.
Gumi made this known while speaking at the reception he organised to meet the released college students.
According to the renowned Islamic scholar, the government at all levels have to dialogue with the bandits, adding that they were showing readiness for engagement.
He urged both the state and federal governments to engage with the bandits so that they can abandon their ways.
Gumi said though the bandits have grievances, if they come together, such issues can be addressed and the menace would be cured in a very short time.
When asked how he secured the release of the students, Gumi said one doesn't negotiate with a friend, but with an enemy.
He was quoted by The Cable as saying:
“You don’t negotiate with your friend; you negotiate with your enemy. The first thing you do is to try and break the ice and break the barrier between you and the person you are negotiating with and also build confidence by demonstrating that you are not going to deceive them."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Gumi denied having anything to do with the N800,000 purportedly paid to secure the release of some abducted students in Kaduna state.
One of the parents of the abducted students had claimed Gumi directed them to a Fulani man named Ahmed who collected N800,000 from them.
After Gumi's denial, some parents of the abducted students who have now been released apologised to the cleric, saying he’s not linked to the purported N800k ransom.
In a related development, a bandit's father also helped secure the release of students kidnapped from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation.
Apart from former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Sheik Ahmad Gumi who played key roles in the negotiation, the bandit's father ensured that the negotiation came out well.