Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi has listed some of the conditions the bandits want to be met before releasing the abducted Kagara students.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, Sheikh Gumi stated that he did not discuss any payment of ransom with the bandits.
The Islamic cleric revealed that the bandits are demanding the release of their comrades in the custody of security agencies.
Gumi said: “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.”
Speaking further, Gumi said the abducted students of the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State might be released today.
He said there is a possibility that the abductees might be released today, following the talks between the government and the bandits.
Gumi during the interview 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.”