Controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Abubakar Gumi has urged the Nigerian government to pardon all bandits.
Gumi met with the bandits that kidnapped teachers and students from Government Science School (GSC), Kagara, in Rafi local government area of Niger State.
After the meeting, during which the Islamic cleric hands out a stack of what appeared to be copies of the Quran to the suspected kidnappers, Gumi said the bandits were ready to release their captives if the Muhammadu Buhari government granted all the bandits in Nigeria amnesty.
Gumi made the plea after meeting Niger governor Abubakar Bello at the Government House in Minna.
“The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them,” Sheikh Gumi told reporters.
He explained that some of the complaints of the bandits are that they were being killed and maimed unjustly.
“The outcome (of his visit) is very positive,” he said.
“We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances — we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched.”
Gumi had recently also visited bandits in Zamfara. After the visit, the Islamic cleric told the Nigerian government to use dialogue, not military might, to disarm the bandits.
He said his visit to the Zamfara bandits was not to pay them ransom but to show them the way of peace as taught in Islam.