Photostory: Sheikh Abubakar Gumi meets suspected kidnappers of Kagara students in Tagina Forest, Niger State.
For an Islamic cleric, his ability to track bandits and negotiate with them will make FBI salute, except there’s more than meets the eye in a country where the greedy complex nature of many of its citizens can shock the animal world.
Sheikh Abubakar Gumi seems to understand the terrain of kidnappers in the North. From Zamfara to Katsina to Niger, without a sophisticated tracking device and security presence. How does he do that?
What information can be deduced from this constant interactive session between an Islamic cleric and criminal elements? Maybe this sort of negotiation has come to stay just as banditry and kidnapping for ransom purpose.
During a recent interview with BBC Hausa, Gumi accused the Nigerian military in the crime perpetrated by bandits in the northern region.
He claimed the bandits he had met are willing to surrender but the Nigerian military escalates the violence deliberately.
He said; “Everyone has witnessed it that we negotiated with these people and they promised to drop their weapons and stop these activities, and I even promised to meet the president about the matter. But why will the army bomb their place?”
After the abduction of 42 persons from the Government Science College in Kagara in Niger State on Wednesday, the audacious Gumi, perhaps, with his personal connections with the criminals went to Tagina forest to meet with their leader, Dogo Guide on Thursday
He said some of the bandits listed their demands for a peace deal during his reconciliation meeting.
Last week, the Islamic Scholar was criticsed after advocating for amnesty for the armed bandits who are responsible for the murders and abductions of children, women and farmers in different parts of the Northern Nigeria and now spreading across the rest of the country.
What power does Gumi have to be able to access the dangerous forest unarmed or does he represent something higher in the violence group?