Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, has urged the Federal Government to mobilise N100 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to pay the bandits holding students in Kaduna State.
The controversial cleric told The Punch that the Federal Government should also move quick to win the bandits to their side before Boko Haram insurgents win the friendship of the bandits and lead to a more difficult situation for the country.
Gumi said, “The money they are asking for is too much; if I give you that money, you cannot run away with it. Nobody can run. So, why not give them the money, they release the boys and then we pursue them and get our money back and do what is necessary; it is simple logic. So, bring the money from the central bank. How can they move that money? We should not be stupid.
“These people are getting infiltrated; Boko Haram is getting close and they don’t respect the clergy. I need support to get them inoculated against the infiltration of these ideologies, whether Boko Haram or Ansaru, whatever it is.
“We need to shield them because they are naïve. If there is too much pressure on them, and they see help from Boko Haram, who are richer and have more weapons, it is going to consume everybody.”
Gumi’s stance came following reports that someone he mandated collected N800,000 from parents of the students of the Federal School of Forestry to mediate with the bandits holding the 29 students of the school who have been held since March 11.
The N800,000 was reportedly taken by the man described as transport fare to meet the bandits who were requesting for N100 million as ransom. Gumi has not reacted to the disclosure.