Home NEWSGOVERNMENT Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s Advocacy for Dialogue with Bandits

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s Advocacy for Dialogue with Bandits

by inlandtownadmin
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Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a respected Islamic scholar based in Kaduna, recently requested the government’s approval to initiate discussions with the bandits responsible for the abduction of approximately 287 students from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in Chikun Local Government Area.

Gumi firmly believes in the power of dialogue and urges the current President, Bola Tinubu, to consider a different strategy than his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who dismissed the idea of negotiation. This plea for dialogue comes in the wake of another incident where 200 displaced women were kidnapped in Borno State’s Gambarou Ngala, while they were collecting firewood.

Just a week before, the same local government area witnessed another attack by bandits on Gonin-Gora, leading to a public outcry with residents blocking the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway in protest. The government of the affected state, however, has remained steadfast in its refusal to negotiate with the bandits for the release of the abducted schoolchildren and has denied allegations of hiring a private negotiator.

In response to the government’s stance, Gumi expressed his disappointment, stating, “The government’s refusal to negotiate with the bandits is regrettable.” He advised the government to engage in dialogue with the bandits, not only for the Kuriga schoolchildren but for all abduction cases.

He further suggested that the government should replicate the strategy used in 2022 to secure the release of passengers abducted on the Abuja–Kaduna train. Gumi offered to spearhead a comprehensive dialogue between the government and the bandits, citing it as his religious obligation to promote peace.

He expressed hope that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration would be more receptive to dialogue than the previous administration under President Muhammadu Buhari. Gumi has a history of negotiating with bandits on behalf of state governments to secure the release of abductees.

In May 2021, a parent of one of the students kidnapped from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, urged Nigerians to appreciate Gumi’s efforts in securing the release of abductees rather than accusing him of complicity in the country’s banditry issues.

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