Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi who has been holding peace talks with bandits, has said the abducted Kagara students in Niger state are likely to be released this Sunday, with ongoing talks between these bandits and the government.
The popular northern sheikh who disclosed this in an interview, noted that the release is slowed down owing to logistics, adding that the negotiation does not involve payment of ransom.
“What I hear from (our contact) is that they are still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members) and hopefully, hopefully, we will get them on Sunday, hopefully, he said.
“Up till now, they have not been able to identify the boys, who (did the kidnapping). You know they are splinter groups. So, when you are dealing with groups like that in a vast area, with no communication, no road, then it has to be slow. But the main actors are ready to negotiate and stop the kidnapping altogether.”
According to Gumi, the bandits are asking mainly for the release of their comrades in the custody of security agencies.
“They have just four people in detention, and they are asking for them. They also need assurance and that is why we are calling for amnesty for them. They have been fighting for a long time; it’s been more than eight years, Gumi said.
“These people are fighting for their existence because when they go to town they are lynched when the police see them on the road, they arrest them; sometimes they are executed extra-judicially, so they took arms against the state. When you give them amnesty, all of them will drop their weapons.”
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