Renowned Muslim cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has said that the abducted Kagara school children might be officially released today (Sunday).
Gumi told Saharareporters that, “What I hear from (our contact) is that they are still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members), and we will get them tomorrow (Sunday), hopefully.
“Up till now, they have not been able to identify the boys, who (did the kidnapping). You know they are splinter groups. So, when dealing with groups like that in a vast area, with no communication, no road, then it has to be slow. But the main actors are ready to negotiate and stop the kidnapping altogether.”
Asked if the negotiation involved money, Gumi said, “No, no; it does not. If it involves money, it means the same criminality. They are saying these are our conditions and we will stop this thing. So, negotiation is ongoing and their demands are being looked into, which are very simple.”
According to Gumi, the bandits are mainly asking the state to release their comrades in security agencies’ custody.
He explained, “They have just four people in detention and they are asking for them. They also need assurance and that is why we are calling for amnesty for them. They have been fighting for a long time; it’s been more than eight years.
“These people are fighting for their existence because when they go to town, they are lynched, when the police see them on the road, they arrest them; sometimes they are executed extrajudicially, so they took arms against the state. When you give them amnesty, all of them will drop their weapons.”