Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric and former military officer, has reiterated his call for the federal government to initiate negotiations with bandits to secure the release of abducted Nigerians,Daily Trust reports.

According to Daily Trust, Gumi had previously urged the government, during the tenure of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, to engage in dialogue with bandits.

In a statement, the cleric expressed his willingness to facilitate comprehensive discussions between the federal government and the bandits.

Sheikh Gumi advised President Bola Tinubu not to repeat the perceived “mistake” of Buhari, who declined to initiate dialogue.

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His remarks came after the Kaduna State government rejected engaging in talks with the bandits responsible for the abduction of 287 students from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area last week.

Sheikh Gumi criticized the government’s stance of refusing to negotiate, deeming it a misguided approach.

He emphasized: “It is an unfortunate position for the government to take. My recommendation is for the government to engage in dialogue with the bandits, not only regarding the Kuriga school children abduction but also in all similar cases.”

Furthermore, Sheikh Gumi suggested employing the same approach used to secure the release of passengers abducted on the Abuja–Kaduna train in 2022 to free the Kuriga school children and others.

“I am prepared to facilitate comprehensive dialogue between the government and the bandits. It is my religious obligation to strive for peace,” he added.

Sheikh Gumi expressed hope that the current government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would heed his advice by initiating dialogue with the bandits, as the previous administration under former President Muhammadu Buhari had declined to do so.


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