The spate of insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria has become more disturbing than ever as it is almost becoming a daily business activity.
The development brought to the limelight the name of an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi who suddenly presented himself as a mediator between the terrorist groups and the government.
Barely a month ago, Gumi toured the forests of Shinkafi and Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State to allegedly spread the message of Islam and peace to the Fulani herdsmen and rid the country of kidnappings and banditry. Naija News reports that the renowned scholar and his entourage first visited the forest of Tubali and Makkai in Shinkafi LGA which were under the control of armed Fulani herdsmen.
At the first settlement in Tubali Forest, Gumi was said to have met with about 150 armed Fulanis who expressed their grievances and why it would be difficult for them to surrender their arms. Gumi again at Makkai forest together with his disciples met with no fewer than 600 bandits with automatic rifles.
However, defending the terrorists in one of his interview with newsmen after the tour, Gumi said he met with Fulani herders in Zamfara forests and not bandits as widely reported.
The cleric noted that the herders took up arms because of injustice done to them which include killing them and their cattle, extortion and burning of their homes by security operatives.
He said: “They were victims of violence so they took arms to protect themselves. Wherever they are as cattle herders, they face problems with farmers; we saw what happened in Oyo, how their homes and cattle were burnt. These people live in huts while those killing them and destroying their homes live a better life.”
Though Gumi’s alleged missionary visit to the bandit camps raised a lot of questions and condemnations by concerned citizens, a few days later, the Sheikh made another tour to Niger State.
Naija News reports that heavily armed men stormed Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State on February 17, 2021, and abducted some students and staff of the school.
The bandits walked the abductees through the forest in Tagina, the forest which linked Niger with the Birnin Gwari forest of Kaduna Northwest. Not long after the event, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi travelled down to Niger State to meet with the bandits and their leaders.
Sheikh Gumi upon meeting with the bandits who were led by their leader, Dogo Gide appealed to them to give peace a chance.
However, despite Gumi’s alleged peace call with the bandits and efforts by the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led government, the Kagara school children and staff still remain with the bandits In their den.
While Kagara Students are still having awful experience of their lives with their abductors, a disturbing report emerged on Friday morning, February 26 that some gunmen stormed Zamfara State and abducted students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata Mafara local government area of the State.
Confirming the incident to news men, a resident of Kawaye village who gave his name as Sadi Kawaye disclosed that his daughters, Mansura and Sakina were among those abducted.
He said, “I’m on my to Jangebe now to see the situation myself. I was told they invaded the school around 1 am.”
When contacted on the sad development, the spokesperson of the Zamfara State Police Command, Muhammad Shehu, noted that he can not say anything at the time of filing this react.
Will Sheikh Gumi again take another tour to Zamfara forest to preach, negotiate and rescue the abducted students?
These are few among many questions Nigerians are asking at the moment while the government is making efforts to deal with the matter in its on way.