Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, says the abducted staff and students of state Science College Kagara in Niger state may regain their freedom today, February 21.
Recall that on Wednesday, February 17, armed bandits wearing military camouflage, stormed the varsity and abducted 27 students, and shot one among the scholars dead. They also abducted three staff members as 12 relations of the staff.
In an interview with Punch, Gumi, who has been in talks with the bandits within the forest, said there’s an opportunity that the abducted persons could be released today.
“What I hear from (our contact) is that they’re still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members) and hopefully, we’ll get them tomorrow (Sunday).
Up till now, they need not be ready to identify the boys, who (did the kidnapping). you recognize they’re splinter groups. So, once you are handling groups like that during a vast area, with no communication, no road, then it’s to be slow. But the most actors can negotiate and stop the kidnapping altogether.”
Asked if the negotiation involved money, Gumi said responded
“No, no; it doesn’t. If it involves money, it means equivalent criminality. they’re saying these are our conditions and that we will stop this thing. So, negotiation is ongoing and their demands are being looked into, which are very simple.”
According to Gumi, the bandits are mainly asking the state to release their comrades within the custody of security agencies.
“They have just four people in detention and that they are posing for them. They also need assurance which is why we are calling for amnesty for them. they need been fighting for an extended time; it’s been quite eight years.
“These people are fighting for his or her existence because once they attend town they’re lynched when the police see them on the road, they arrest them; sometimes they’re executed extrajudicially so that they took arms against the state. once you give them amnesty, all of them will drop their weapons,” he said