‘Don’t be like Buhari,’ Gumi asks Tinubu to negotiate release of kaduna students

CONTROVERSIAL Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi has appealed to the federal government to dialogue with the bandits who abducted schoolchildren in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state as a way of rescuing the students.

Gumi, in a statement on Monday, March 11, also urged Tinubu not to repeat the mistake made by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to dialogue with bandits during the many abductions of Nigerians

The ICIR, on Thursday, March 7, reported how the assailants invaded the schools and reportedly kidnapped over 100 children, alongside some staff of the school.

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Abdullahi, who escaped the abduction along with others, said 25 of the pupils from the primary section had returned, leaving the number of abducted to 287.

“At GSS Kuriga, 187 students are presently missing. In the primary school, 125 pupils were initially missing, but 25 of them escaped and retired home,” Abdullahi told the governor.

While narrating how the assailants invaded the school,  Abdullahi said a member of the Kaduna State Vigilante Service (KADVS) was killed by the bandits during the attack.

Meanwhile, with the Kaduna government refusing to engage in dialogue with the bandits to release the schoolchildren and refuting claims that it had hired a private negotiator to facilitate their release, Gumi condemned the decision, calling on Tinubu to allow him to lead the dialogue.

He also recalled how negotiations were used to rescue victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train kidnap of March 28, 2022, and urged the government to allow the method to be used again.

Gumi said, “The government’s stand of no negotiation with the bandits is an unfortunate position. My advice is that the government should dialogue with the bandits not only for these Kuriga school children abductions but all the cases.

“Also, the government should use the same approach it used in releasing passengers that were abducted on Abuja – Kaduna train in 2022 to release the Kuriga school children and others.

“I am ready to lead a holistic dialogue between the government and bandits. It is a religious duty for me to do so for peace. I hope the present government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will listen by dialoguing with the bandits because the past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari refused to do”

Previously, Gumi has acted as a negotiator between the Nigerian government and terrorists whose hideouts he had visited in different states.



    He had also called for dialogue with the terrorists on several occasions, saying that terrorists had taken up arms due to government neglect, injustice and in self-defence.

    Gumi predicted that the country would be peaceful if terrorists were granted free education and basic amenities. He also warned against using the military approach in addressing insecurity in the North, recommending that amnesty be granted to the offenders.

    A day after bandits were declared terrorists in Nigeria, Gumi had described it as an exercise in futility as it would have no practical value.

    “The decision by the government will not have any practical value because even before the declaration, they had been fought and treated as terrorists. So is just a nomenclature which I believe will not change the dynamics on ground,” he said.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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