Allow Gumi Negotiate With Bandits..Northern Elders Forum Beg Tinubu


The Northern Elders Forum has supported plans by Kaduna-based Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to engage in dialogue with bandits who abducted about 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

It stated that Gumi may be able to secure their release and prevent future abduction.

Insecurity has continued to increase in the Northern region, particularly in Kaduna and Borno states, in recent times.

In less than 24 hours, insurgents abducted 200 internally displaced women in Borno and 287 pupils and teachers from the two schools in Kaduna.

The terrorists reportedly invaded Kuriga shooting at their targets before whisking away the pupils and teachers from the schools.

 In a bid to secure their release, the prominent Islamic scholar urged President Bola Tinubu to allow him to negotiate with the bandits.

He also urged the President not to repeat the mistake made by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to dialogue with the bandits.

But the Federal Government on Wednesday said it would not pay “a dime” as a ransom for the release of school children, adding that they would be “brought back to safety”.

In an interview with Saturday Punch, NEF’s Spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said Gumi should be supported “to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kaduna”.

According to him, negotiating with bandits did not mean “condoning their actions or granting them impunity,” adding that it was a strategic move to “de-escalate” the situation and save the lives of victims.

He said, “While some may question the legitimacy of negotiating with criminals, it is important to consider the potential benefits of engaging in dialogue. In conflict resolution, dialogue is often seen as crucial to finding peaceful solutions.

“By engaging with the bandits, Gumi may be able to understand their grievances and motivations, which could potentially lead to the safe release of the abducted children. Additionally, opening lines of communication with the bandits could pave the way for addressing underlying issues such as poverty, lack of education, and marginalisation that contribute to the cycle of violence.”

Speaking further, Suleiman said, “Moreover, pursuing a dialogue with the bandits does not necessarily mean condoning their actions or granting them impunity. It is a strategic move to de-escalate the situation and protect the lives of innocent victims.

“By initiating talks, Gumi may be able to secure the release of the schoolchildren and potentially prevent future abductions. While dialogue with bandits may seem controversial, it can be a necessary step in resolving conflicts and ensuring the safety of hostages; Gumi’s intention to engage in dialogue should be supported as a means to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kaduna.”



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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