Bandits responsible for the recent abduction of students and teachers in Niger state have appealed to the state government to assist in the release of their members arrested by security agencies and detained across the state for the peace process to thrive.
The bandits made the appeal on Friday when the Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane and popular Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi stormed Dutsen Magaji, Mariga Local Government Area (LGA) of the state to negotiate for the release of the abductees.
A statement issued by the office of the SSG quoted him appealing to “other criminal elements like the kidnappers and cattle rustlers to join in the peace dialogue process in order to put an end to the security challenges that have bedevilled the state over the years.
“In furtherance to the peace dialogue initiative, enjoined the Commanders to support Government secure the release of the abducted Passengers of Niger State Transport Authority and Students of Government Science College, Kagara.”
Delivering his remarks at the meeting the renowned Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi expressed optimism that dialoguing with the Bandits would put an end to the current insecurity in the State and country at large.
Sheikh Gumi who reminded the hoodlums that Islam is against taking the lives of innocent people, appealed to them to embrace peace by laying down their arms.
“The Islamic Cleric told the Bandits that he will continue to discuss with the state government to explore whatever assistance and support government will give to them with a view to achieving the set objectives”, the statement said.
Commanders in their separate remarks applauded the state government for the peace process, stressing that it would go a long way in restoring peace across the state.
The highlight of the occasion, it learnt was the distribution of Islamic Books to the Bandits by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi so as to teach them the doctrine of Islam.