Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has asked the Nigerian government to give repentant bandits ‘blanket amnesty’ to help tackle the current security situation in the country.

The Islamic scholar stated this on Friday while giving updates on the demands of the bandits over the recent abduction of schoolchildren in Kagara, Niger State.

This comes after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

He said, “The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them.”

He explained that some of the complaints of the bandits are that they were being killed and maimed unjustly, Channels reported. 

“The outcome (of his visit) is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances – we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched,” the cleric said, quoting the bandits.

Speaking on his discussion with bandits, Gumi said there is a positive response from the bandits who are holding the Kagara school students and their staff captive.

He, however, did not state if the students had been released.

Gumi’s comments come a few days after gunmen gained access to Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State and abducted students, teachers, and others.

The school principal who escaped from the attack said the gunmen came in military uniform and shot sporadically into the air. He said the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff and a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels.

One student was killed during the attack.

Kidnappers have in recent times targeted schools in the country. 

On December 11, 2020, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after six days.

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