Renowned Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has disclosed that he is in talks with the abductors of the Greenfield University students to secure their release
The religious cleric expressed optimism that the remaining students of the University will soon regain their freedom from their captors, adding that negotiation was ongoing for the release of the students who were abducted by terrorists on April 20, 2021.
The abductors had earlier killed five of the students while their leader, Sani Jalingo, threatened to kill the remaining students if the government or the parents failed to provide N100 million and 10 motorcycles for the bandits with a dateline which has lapsed since Wednesday.
But Sheikh Gumi who spoke while receiving the parents of the 27 Afaka students on a thank-you visit to his Kaduna residence, said the bandits had rescinded their decision to kill the students.
He said, “The talk with the Greenfield University students’ abductors is also going on. you know they threatened to kill all of them after a particular deadline but after talking to them, they are now lowering their bar.
“So, we are thankful they have stopped killing. And we are still negotiating with them. I hope this Afaka case will also encourage to know that there is hope in negotiation and release the children.”
Gumi however emphasized that the role he and former President Olusegun Obasanjo played were purely mediation, noting that the fight was between the bandits and the government.
Gumi said, “The role myself and former President Olusegun Obasanjo played in the release of the 27 Afaka students is the role of mediators because the fight is not between us and them but between the bandits and the government.
“What we understand is that these people are trying to attack the government, by attacking the government institutions and they also take innocent children.
“Having understood that, we came to the conclusion that this is not a hopeless situation and that we can really go in and negotiate for the release of these children, which we did after so many ups and downs.
“But in the long run, a conclusion was reached and these children are out. So, we are happy that, all of them are out and none was killed.”
Earlier, the parents of the 27 abducted students had said they were at his residence to thank him for the role he played in securing their children from bandits.
Led by the chairman and the secretary of the Parents Forum, Malam Usman Abdullahi, Friday Sanni, respectively, begged the Islamic cleric to extend their appreciation to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for their struggle to bring back their children.