Some group of bandits in Niger State forests have listed their demands for peace deal during a reconciliation meeting with Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.
Sheikh Gumi visited Tagina forest and met with bandits group leader, Dogo Gide and his fighters on Thursday for safe release of the abducted persons.
But the bandits didn’t allow their conversations recorded.
Gumi came under intense criticism last week after advocating for amnesty for the criminals carrying out kidnappings and banditry in the different parts of Northern Nigeria.
In a recent interview with BBC Hausa, Gumi indicted the Nigerian military in the violence crimes in the region. He said the bandits he met were willing to lay down their arms but that the military top brass were deliberately escalating the violence.
He said; “Everyone has witnessed it that we negotiated with these people and they promised to drop their weapons and stop these activities, and I even promised to meet the president about the matter. But why will the army bomb their place?”
But the military denied his claims.
His visit to Tagina forest came after kidnappers abducted students, staff and their families From the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State on Wednesday.
Multiple reports said gunmen started attacked the school around 2:00 am on Wednesday, beginning with sporadic gunshots. A students was killed during the attack.
Meanwhile, 27 students of Government Science College, in Kagara, that were kidnapped within the school premises may have been released by their abductors late in the evening on Thursday, to the foremost Islamic scholar based in Kaduna State, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and others after much persuasion by the Islamic cleric.
Sources in the community disclosed that students have been taken to some undisclosed public health facilities for medical checkup in Minna, the state capital in order to ascertain their health status and treatment shortly after they were set free.
It was further learnt that the students gained their freedom after Sheikh Ahmad Gumi had met and dialogued with the leader of the bandits identified as Dogo Gide in conjunction with some of his members after what seems to be a long hours before the two parties could reach a truce.
The foremost Islamic scholar had earlier visited the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House in Minna, some few hours after the incident had occurred on Wednesday and held a closed-door meeting with the governor in his office, alongside members of his entourage.
Recall that the State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello while reacting to the incident vowed never to negotiate with bandits.
Bello stated that Niger was experiencing infiltration of criminals from neighbouring Benin Republic, adding: “The bandits are Fulani that has no one to control them, even their parents.”
Reiterating that he would not have anything to do with hoodlums who have never kept to terms of the agreement, the governor recalled that he once reluctantly negotiated with bandits that never yielded any positive result.
“To be honest, even when the process of negotiation was being advised, I agreed to it. I have attended one meeting where the bandits were there and I cannot imagine myself as a governor and chief security officer of a state sitting down and negotiating with them,” Bello said.