• We want our members released –Bandits
The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane and foremost Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, yesterday called on commanders and members of armed bandits, who abducted Students of Government Science College, Kagara and Passengers of Niger State Transport Authority, to ensure their release.
They also appealed to the bandits across the state to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue and reconciliation for peace and security to prevail. The appeal, however, emerged as the bandits reportedly gave conditions for peace, demanding that authorities would need to release their men being held by security agencies. Bandits invaded Government Science College Kagara in Niger State and abducted 27 students, three teachers, two non-teaching staffers and nine of their family members on Wednesday morning.
Matane made the plea in Dutsen Magaji, Mariga Local Government Area of the state, while addressing bandits and their commanders, who have been terrorising the state. The SSG in company of renowned Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi, further called on other criminal elements like the kidnappers and cattle rustlers to join in the peace dialogue process in order to put an end to the security challenges that have bedeviled the State over the years. He said: “Please, support the government to secure the release of the abducted passengers of Niger State Transport Authority and students of Government Science College, Kagara.
The unfortunate incidents in recent days call for sober reflection. “The government will continue to ensure the security of lives and property but there is the need for religious leaders and other stakeholders to embark on how to get the bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers to key into the peace initiatives of the government.” In his remarks, Gumi expressed optimism that dialoguing with the bandits would put an end to the current insecurity in the State and country at large. Sheikh Gumi reminded the Hoodlums that Islam is against taking the lives of innocent people and appealed to them to embrace peace by laying down their arms.
The Islamic cleric told the bandits that he would continue to discuss with the state government to explore whatever assistance and support government will give to them with a view to achieving the set objectives. Some of the commanders in their separate remarks applauded the state government for the peace process, stressing that it would go a long way in restoring peace across the state.
The bandits appealed to the state government to assist the release of their members arrested by security agencies and detained across the state for the peace process to thrive. The highlight of the occasion was the distribution of Islamic books to the Bandits by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi so as to teach them the doctrine of Islam.