Ahmad Gumi, a popular Kaduna Islamic cleric, has said bandits, who kidnapped staff and students of the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, have asked that their arrested members be released.
He said the bandits may consider releasing the students and staff of the school if their wish is granted.
The Punch claim he said this during a chat with its correspondent.
“I met with people who know the people responsible (for the abduction), which is one step ahead. Before now, when there was a kidnapping, we wouldn’t know those responsible, but now, we have met a leader who knows (these people) because he is commanding a large area and knows the person who did it and he is going to speak to him and plead with him (to release the abducted pupils and other victims. Since there is a peace process going on, they should release them. They (the bandits) too have people arrested by security agents. So, I am telling people, this is turning into an insurgency,”he said.
However, Gumi said the bandits have not stated their members’ release as a condition for the Kagara students’ release.
He said, “They did not really give it as a condition. We are just saying, ‘Please release them,’ and they said, ‘Okay, we will release them (the pupils and staff members of the school) but we also want you people to consider our people (bandits) that were arrested.’”
Gumi expressed hope that the students would be released soon, saying an influential leader would have a chat with the people behind the kidnapping.
He reiterated his call for amnesty, saying the banditry issue is fast becoming an insurgency.