Parents of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have met a popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.
Also on Monday, Senator Shehu Sani met with Gumi in Kaduna. Sani’s meeting with the cleric was part of efforts to secure the release of the students and members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
On March 11, the bandits in large numbers invaded the school located opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy along the Kaduna International Airport road and abducted 39 students.
On Friday, members of the RCCG, were abducted by bandits on their way to Kafachan for a programme tagged, “let us go a fishing.”
However, on Monday, Sani, an activist who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, waded into the matter when he paid a courtesy visit to the renowned Islamic scholar in his Kaduna residence.
Gumi assured the former lawmaker that arrangements were going on for the release of the students from their abductors.
He acknowledged that the parents of the students met him over the matter, noting, “We have done all we can regarding the students.
The Islamic cleric appreciated Sani’s efforts toward ensuring peace in the country.
“As for the college students, we have done all we can do. In fact, I had a meeting with parents of the kidnapped students sequel to their meeting with Government. I showed them what the problem was and they went to visit government and returned,” he said.
Gumi noted that he was not a negotiator for bandits, as he always ensured that government officials were present in his previous discussions with bandits in the forests, before Federal Government issued the shoot at sight order.
“As for the college students, we are making arrangements for them through a contact to see how these problems can be solved.
“The case has been referred to someone (name withheld ) and he’s doing his best,” Gumi added.
Sani had earlier appealed to Gumi to assist in freeing the 39 students and members of the RCCG held hostage by the bandits.
He urged the cleric not to be discouraged by some utterances from Nigerians.
Sani said, “I am one of the Nigerians passionate about bringing an end to insecurity in the country and I will not relent. I beg you not to retreat from whatever effort you are putting in place.
“We cannot also defeat people until we understand them and win some of them over.
“So do not be discouraged by words and lack of recognition.
“A mother whose child is in the hands of kidnappers will simply want their release at all costs.
“I call on you to use the privilege, the opportunity and the power which God has personally endowed you with to help free the 39 Afaka forestry college students and the RCCG members in captivity.”