The National Association of Nigerian Students has said it met with controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to seek the release of hundreds of abducted students all over the country.
NANS President, Sunday Asefon, made this known in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Safe And Secure School; NANS Meets Sheik Gumi’.
Asefon said, “I led the leadership of NANS to meet with Sheik Ahmed Gumi in Kaduna yesterday (Sunday). Our discussion centred on actions and efforts to ensure the safety and security of Nigerian students on all campuses and the release of innocent students in the captivity of their abductors.
“We extracted commitment on continuous dialogue for the release of students in captivity and all-round efforts to ensure schools become safer so that our students can be free from the fear and trauma of kidnapping.
“We must leave no stone unturned until our schools are free again. We will continue to engage and dialogue with stakeholders to ensure school safety.”
Gumi has been seen hobnobbing with bandits and kidnappers while calling on the government to also grant them blanket amnesty. The cleric, who said bandits are fighting an ethnic war, also recently recommended the establishment of special courts to try bandits and kidnappers but many Nigerians have since flayed the cleric for being complicitous with the bandits.
Recently, gun-wielding bandits abducted over 200 pupils from an Islamiyya school located at Tegina in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
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Bandits have also abducted scores of students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka; as well as Greenfield University,
The Senate has proposed a bill seeking to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined.
According to the bill, Nigerians who pay ransom to kidnappers and kidnappers who receive ransom risk 15 years imprisonment.