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Sheikh Ahmad Gumi urges dialogue with bandits over abducted schoolchildren

Islamic cleric calls for government engagement following surge in kidnappings in Kaduna State

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In the wake of the abduction of 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in Kaduna State, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has appealed to the government for permission to initiate talks with the bandits responsible. Gumi emphasized the necessity of dialogue, urging President Bola Tinubu to depart from the previous administration’s stance of rejecting negotiations with insurgents.

The incident in Kaduna occurred amidst escalating unrest, with insurgents also kidnapping 200 internally displaced women in Borno State. Despite government resistance to negotiating with the bandits, Gumi maintains that dialogue is essential not only for the Kuriga schoolchildren’s release but for all similar cases.

Gumi, known for his previous negotiations with bandits on behalf of state governments, offers to lead discussions between the government and the perpetrators, citing it as his religious duty for peace. However, the cleric’s plea comes against the backdrop of government reluctance, which has refused dialogue and denied claims of hiring private negotiators for the victims’ release.

As Kaduna reels from the aftermath of the abductions, Gumi’s advocacy for dialogue underscores the pressing need for decisive action amid mounting security challenges in the region.

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