The Zamfara State bandit leader, Dogo Gide, who controls the southern part of the Zamfara forest, has given assurance that the kidnapped officials and pupils would soon be released.
Gide made the promise when he met with the officials of the Niger State Government under the intervention of a prominent Islamic scholar , Sheikh Ahmad Gumi in Dutsin Magaji of Kotonkoro forest on Friday .
Gide said though the abductees were not in his camp, he would nevertheless negotiate with his fellow bandits to hasten their release .
He assured that all the abducted persons, including those kidnapped by bandits in Zamfara State or any other neighboring states of Niger, Kebbi, and Kaduna would be released soon.
Gide explained that the Fulani were under pressure from all angles, “ that was why most of them have been left with no option but to carry arms and also engage in banditry activities .”
He also promised to accept the peace deal preached by Sheikh Gumi provided the governors were really serious about the issue.
But the Special Adviser to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State on Communications , Media and Publicity , Alhaji Zailani Bappa , said he was not aware of any arrangements between the state government and Niger State on the issue .
Miyetti Allah joins negotiation team with bandits
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has joined the negotiation team with the bandits in an effort to rescue the kidnapped teachers and students of Government Science College Kagara in Niger State .
A competent source disclosed that the National President of the association , Alhaji Kiruwa Zuru , is now part of the negotiation team .
According to the source, the national president was allegedly invited by the Niger State Government to serve as a mediator between the bandits and the state .
The source said, “ Ardon Zuru is highly respected by the bandits . They listen to him and as such, we are confident that the negotiation will soon come to an end and the abducted persons will soon regain freedom .”
He also stated that Zuru was part of the negotiation team that rescued the students of Government Science College , Kankara in Katsina State recently abducted by the bandits .
Efforts to talk to Zuru failed as he did not pick up the calls to his mobile . He had also yet to respond to text messages sent to him.
Also, a competent source also informed one of our correspondents that there was heavy security within the Kotonkoro Forest as several security personnel were drafted to ensure the release and safe return of the kidnapped teachers and students .
Sultan of Sokoto -led group seeks rescue of victims
An Islamic group, Jama ’atu Nasril Islam, has called on the newly appointed service chiefs to take steps to rescue the pupils and school workers .
Condemning the abduction, the group led by the Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, expressed worry that the incident happened not too long after the kidnap of pupils in Kankara , Katsina State .
This was contained in a statement titled , ‘From Kankara to Kagara , yet another abduction of staff and pupils of Government Science College , Kagara , Niger State ,’ signed by its Secretary General, Dr Khalid Aliyu, in Kaduna on Friday .
The muslim body called on the regime of the President , Major General Muhammadu ( retd. ) , to be decisive in tackling insecurity across the country .
It read, “ The Jama ’atu Nasril Islam, under the leadership of its President -General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, is in utter disbelief and astonishment that pupils could be abducted from school , despite the not-too – long – ago Kankara episode.
“ And that teachers and pupils were abducted from Government Science College , Kagara , Niger State just a few days after the kidnap of passengers on board the Niger State Transport Authority bus had happened in the same Niger State .
“ This is absolutely incredible, despicable and condemnable . Ordinarily , the school abduction should have been averted if there was adequate security surveillance and alertness around our boarding schools .
“ This is because these unfortunate trends are becoming the new normal . Worst still , Kagara town and by extension, Niger State has become infamous given the serial attacks by bandits and other criminals in the recent past , ” the statement read in part .
The group further urged Nigerians to see the security challenge as a national disaster “ that needs our respective , patriotic and collective support , by way of divulging relevant intelligence to those concerned .”