Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric and scholar, has said the Federal Government should to give bandits willing to make peace “blanket amnesty” if the current security situation must be tackled.
Gumi said this while addressing journalists at Government House, Minna, the Niger State capital, on Friday.
The cleric’s statement comes a day after he visited the camp of some bandits operating in Tagina forest in Niger State as part of negotiations for the 42 persons abducted from Government Science College in the Kagara area of the state on Wednesday.
“The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them,” Sheik Gumi said while giving updates on the demands of the bandits.
He stated that some of the bandits he met complained that they were being killed and maimed unjustly by the security forces.
“The outcome (of the visit) is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances – ‘we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched,'” he said.
He, however, did not state if the students have been released.
Since January, Gumi has met with bandits in Kaduna and Zamfara forests in an attempt to broker a peace deal.