Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, on Thursday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s shoot-on-order is hindering the release of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Kaduna.
Naija News had earlier reported this month that the President directed security operatives in the country to shoot-on-sight any criminal carrying AK-47.
Gumi while speaking with Daily Trust noted that some bandits he met with in the forest during his meetings have identified the leader of the gang responsible for the abduction of the students.
The cleric further stated that despite identifying the gang involved in the abduction of the student he has no access to them because of the President’s shoot-on-sight order.
He further stated that he met 80% of bandits leaders during his peace meeting in the forest.
Gumi added that the lack of encouragement from some government officials has hindered him from meeting all the leaders of the bandits’ gang to drop their arms.
“If we had encouragement, we would have met all the leaders. All those we met usually offered to support us to negotiate on our behalf, just like what happened in Niger State.”
“Presently, our ability has reached the extent that we can identify who is involved in any criminal act. We have identified the leader of those who took the students but he has never attended any peace meeting with us.”
“Those groups we met identified him but we could not reach out to him because of the security implication since the government gave shoot-on-sight order and then the government said no negotiation. So, I don’t want us to go into the bush and the government will think we are encouraging them.”
Asked what needs to be done to get the victims released, Gumi said, “What I think is for the government to just relax and allow us to follow these people to teach them how to behave, admonish them and then negotiate so that they stop this thing. We are doing this for ourselves, not for the government or any political party.”
“We don’t want politicians to mess up our land because they will come and go while we remain here, God willing. So we are not doing it for political reasons, we are doing it for ourselves so that we stop killing each other.”
On the stand of Governor Nasir El-Rufai against negotiating with bandits, Gumi said, “I cannot change the state government stand on negotiation and ransom payment. All I want from them is to allow us to continue the discussion with the bandits.”