Sheikh Gumi Urges Government Dialogue with Bandits Following Kaduna School Abduction

Renowned Kaduna-based Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has called for government intervention through dialogue with the bandits responsible for the abduction of approximately 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Sheikh Gumi emphasized the necessity of dialogue as the preferred approach, urging President Bola Tinubu to adopt a different stance from his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who had rejected dialogue with bandits.

The recent abduction in Kuriga, where bandits stormed the schools, shooting indiscriminately before seizing the pupils and teachers, underscores the escalating security challenges facing communities. This incident follows closely on the heels of the abduction of 200 internally displaced women in Ngala, Borno State, highlighting the pervasive threat posed by insurgents and criminal elements in various parts of the country.

Sheikh Gumi’s advocacy for dialogue with bandits comes amidst the government’s steadfast refusal to engage in negotiations for the release of the abducted schoolchildren. Despite claims of hiring a private negotiator, the state government has remained resolute in its stance against dialogue with the perpetrators.

In his statement, Sheikh Gumi asserted that dialogue with bandits should not be limited to the Kuriga school abduction but should encompass all cases involving the abduction of innocent civilians. Drawing parallels with previous successful negotiations, such as the release of passengers abducted on the Abuja–Kaduna train in 2022, he emphasized the efficacy of dialogue in securing the freedom of hostages.

Expressing his readiness to facilitate dialogue between the government and bandits, Sheikh Gumi reiterated his commitment to fostering peace and stability in the region, citing it as his religious duty. He urged the present administration under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to embrace dialogue as a means of addressing the security crisis, citing the reluctance of the previous administration to engage in such talks.


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