Gumi: The bandits I met said they don’t know who abducted Kagara students
February 21, 2021
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, popular Islamic cleric, says the bandits he met in Niger state denied knowledge of the abduction of 27 students of Government Science College (GSC), Kagara.
The sheikh has also said he is not part of any negotiation for the release of the schoolchildren, and that he only met the bandits to dissuade them from crime.
Armed bandits had on Wednesday attacked GSC Kagara in Rafi local government area of Niger, where they abducted 41 persons mostly students and staff of the school.
In an interview with THISDAY, the cleric said his meeting with leaders of the bandits is only a peace move and has nothing to do with the abductions.
“I am not part of any negotiations. We just met some of these militants (in Niger State), trying to dissuade them from their militancy,” he was quoted as saying.
“We asked them (the bandits) about what happened and they said they know the group that abducted the bus and they said they will intercede and see that they are released.
“But for the (school) children, they said they didn’t know who did it because it was too early for them to know. Those groups we met may be having problems with a splinter group.”
Gumi also said the peace mission had been planned before now and the abduction of the students was probably ” to show their rejection of peace” by some splinter groups.
“The people I met with are not the ones who abducted the students,” the cleric said, but added that “the overall commander of the group we met promised that he would investigate those who abducted the children and get them released.”