Ahmad Gumi, a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, has asked the Nigerian government to grant ‘blanket amnesty’ to some criminal gangs terrorising the country’s Northwest region.
Addressing journalists in Minna, Niger State, Northcentral Nigeria on Friday, Gumi said it was time the government looked at non-violent approaches to curtailing criminal activities of terror groups in the Northwest and Northcentral regions of the country.
He suggested the terror groups should be granted amnesty as the government had done in the case of Niger Delta militants who were agitating for resource control in the oil-rich southern states.
His comment came after meeting Abubakar Bello, Governor of Niger State, on the abduction of some students of Government Science College, Kagara, Wednesday morning.
Gumi had met with some of the gangs involved in the kidnapping case, urging them to free the abducted victims while also preaching to them to embrace peace.
In the attack on the school, a pupil was reportedly killed.
“The outcome of the meeting was very positive because you have a warring faction saying that they have complaints and grievances, which are very simple. There is hope that we can resolve this,” Gumi said after meeting with leaders of the terror groups.
“I appeal to the government and recommend that the government should do to them exactly what they did to the Niger Delta militants and give them a blanket amnesty. Then if anybody will continue, we will deal with him,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state governor had called on the federal government for urgent intervention, lamenting the increasing rate of abduction and attacks in the state,
He said despite the state’s efforts to douse the ‘bandits’ influence, they “are becoming more daring.”
Bello said his administration would not consider paying ransom to the armed bandits to rescue their victims.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari charged security agents to secure the victims’ return and curtail insecurity across the country.
Critics have criticised the Federal Government’s handling of security situations in the country.
But President Buhari has said his administration would support the Armed Forces “in their brave struggle against terrorism and banditry and urged them to do all that can be done to bring an end to this saga, and avoid such cowardly attacks on schools in the future.”
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