Saturday May 8, 2021
Ahmad Gumi, prominent Islamic cleric, has said he will head to Aso Rock if his child is abducted by bandits.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Friday, May 7, 2021, the cleric reiterated his stance that ransom should be paid to bandits to free their captives.
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the cleric had urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to pay the N100 million demanded by the abductors of Greenfield University students kidnapped in April.
Commenting again on the development, Gumi said the federal government has to choose between the option of losing the lives of students or paying the N100 million.
“Life versus material; that is how you will look at it. It is the absolute responsibility of the government to protect lives. Now we have lives or N100 million at stake and these lives of 17 innocent young children,” he said.
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“I can’t imagine if my child is there. I can never keep quiet. I will go and knock on Aso Rock, if my child is there. They are my children too.
“What is N100 million? So, what I’m saying is, free these children then the field is open for you to take whatever action you want to take. It is between bandits and N100 million. I do not want the struggle between bandits and lives.
“This is just simple logic. It does not require any rocket science. How can you play with lives? You can play with your money, but you can’t play with peoples’ lives. They just went there to study.”
In recent times, the northern part of the country has witnessed increasing attacks on schools, leading to abductions and killings.
The cleric said bandits do not feel the pain of kidnapping because they don’t have access to quality education.
Gumi said he had informed the government that if bandits have schools, they will not attack people.
“One of the things I showed the government is that these bandits that attack these people, where is their own school too? If they had schools they won’t be attacking people too,” he said.
“Where is their school where they have their children, so they know the value of education and they will feel the pain of kidnap.”
In February, 2021, Gumi asked the federal government to grant blanket amnesty to the bandits.