Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described the kidnapping of schoolchildren by bandits as a lesser evil.
The cleric who has been visiting bandits in the forest in an attempt to negotiate a peace deal with them disclosed this on BBC Pidgin.
Gumi said kidnapping schoolchildren was a lesser evil when compared to the ransacking of towns and killing of its residents.
The cleric also stated that his meetings were yielding positive results, saying bandits are now careful about human lives.
“Kidnapping children from school is a lesser evil because, in the end, you can negotiate and now bandits are very careful about human lives,” he said.
“Before, the mission of bandits was to go into a town, ransack it and kill people. By this, I can say our preaching is working and hopefully, we are coming to an end of banditry in Zamfara and other states.
“Bandits are more careful about lives now and just want to do sensational attacks which would bring attention to themselves.”
Meanwhile the schoolgirls of Government Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State who were abducted on Friday at 1am have been released.
The Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle confirmed their release via a twitter post.
“Alhamdulillah! It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity. This follows the scaling of several hurdles laid against our efforts. I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are now safe,” Matawalle wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
It hasn’t be revealed yet if any ransome exchanged hands before the schoolgirls were released.
A few days ago, about seven of the abducted schoolgirls ‘miraculously’ found their way home according to a source from the town who told Channels Television.
The source confirmed that the girls returned home on their own as they claimed they maneuvered their way back from the bandits while trekking along the forest.