Bandits not responsible for Greenfield University kidnap –Gumi

ISLAMIC cleric Ahmad Gumi has said that bandits were not responsible for the kidnapping and killing of students of Greenfield University in Kaduna.

He said this in an interview with AIT on Tuesday, while hinting that members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were responsible for the abduction of the students.
“When we tried to trace them and put some sense into them, the contact who is also a nomadic Fulani was threatened. They said if he insists on them, they were going to catch him and he will have to pay ransom before he gets out,” he said.

He stated that the leader of this terrorist group was not Fulani, but from the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, noting that government should act fast as there was no luxury of time.



    Gumi urged the government to negotiate with the abductors to avoid further loss of students’ lives, stressing that no amount of money was worth the lives of the students. He said government could eventually track and recover the ransom paid.
    Speaking on the issue of bandits reneging on the terms of past negotiations, Gumi said that the bandits had no belief in the seriousness of the government.
    “They told us no government is serious and I can tell you, yes, no government is serious. Because after negotiating with them, leaving their weapons or given out some of their weapons, the reaction of the government is aloof. They leave them alone with nothing, no programme of rehabilitation, no programme to see into their welfare, nothing. And so they definitely have to go back there,” he said

    The cleric noted that he had provided security agencies with the information he had on the whereabouts of the Greenfield students, and that their location was no more a secret.
    “Everybody knows where they are. The parents know where they are. But the lives of the students are in danger. We don’t want to see 19 corpses of our students,” he said.

    He said the bandits were mostly ready to cooperate with the government, but the government had refused to meet with their demands of banning vigilante groups.
    He advised the government not to ban the vigilantes, but to incorporate them into the Civil Defence.

    He feared that the terrorists had begun to infiltrate the bandit groups which could only spell doom for Nigeria.
    Twenty-two students and a member of staff of the Greenfield University were kidnapped from the school campus a few weeks ago. Five of them have been killed, and one released on Tuesday. Payment of 100million has been demanded by the terrorists as ransom for their release.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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