Islamic cleric Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has said that the only way out of the bandit menace is for the government to negotiate with bandits as it is impossible to effectively guard schools.
Gumi, speaking with The Punch on efforts to rescue the kidnapped pupils of Tegina Islamic School, Niger State, said the bandits kidnapping school pupils were disappointed that he negotiated with them without the involvement of the Federal Government.
The cleric insisted that until the government engaged with the herdsmen, no school could be safe.
The bandits had demanded N200m from the victims’ parents, which was later reduced to N150m. Gumi said despite efforts to get the pupils out, the bandits were adamant in their financial demand.
Gumi said the Niger State Government had been making efforts to get the children released, adding that the state had limited resources.