BEVERLY HILLS, February 19, (THEWILL) – The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, has appealed to bandits to embrace dialogue, reconciliation and lay down their arms.
The bandits reportedly gave conditions for peace, demanding that authorities would need to release their men being held by security agencies.
THEWILL had reported that bandits invaded Government Science College Kagara in Niger State and abducted 27 students, three teachers, two non-teaching staffers and nine of their family members on Wednesday morning.
The SSG, who accompanied Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi to meet the bandits, stated the readiness of the government to engage them in dialogue.
Matane addressed the bandits and their commanders in Dutsen Magaji, Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State, urging them to embrace peace dialogue being initiated by the government.
He said that the peace dialogue will bring an end to the security challenges faced by the state.
Matane further appealed to the bandit commanders to support the government’s effort in securing the release of the abducted passengers of Niger State Transport Authority mass transit and the students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara.
He said that religious leaders and other stakeholders would be included in the engagement of bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers in peace moves initiated by the government.
In his remarks, Gumi expressed optimism that dialoguing with the bandits would end the current insecurity in the State and the country at large.
Gumi reminded the hoodlums that Islam was against taking the lives of innocent people and appealed to them to embrace peace by laying down their arms.
He said that he would continue to discuss with the state government to explore whatever assistance and support the government would give to them with a view to achieving the set objectives.
Some of the Commanders in their separate remarks applauded the state government for the peace process.
The highlight of the occasion was the distribution of Islamic Books to the Bandits by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi so as to teach them the doctrine of Islam.