Northern Elders Back Sheikh Gumi, Beg President Bola Tinubu To Negotiate With Bandits | MarvelTvUpdates

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has declared support for plans by controversial Kaduna-based Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to negotiate with the bandits who abducted over 280 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The northern elders expressed the optimism that Gumi may be able to secure their release and prevent future abduction of allowed to dialogue with the bandits.

Recall that the Bola Tinubu-led federal government on Wednesday said it would not pay “a dime” as a ransom for the release of school children, adding that they would be “brought back to safety”.

But NEF’s spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said Gumi should be supported “to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kaduna”.

He said negotiating with bandits did not mean “condoning their actions or granting them impunity,” adding that it was a strategic move to “de-escalate” the situation and save the lives of victims.

His words: “While some may question the legitimacy of negotiating with criminals, it is important to consider the potential benefits of engaging in dialogue. 

In conflict resolution, dialogue is often seen as crucial to finding peaceful solutions.

“By engaging with the bandits, Gumi may be able to understand their grievances and motivations, which could potentially lead to the safe release of the abducted children.

“Additionally, opening lines of communication with the bandits could pave the way for addressing underlying issues such as poverty, lack of education, and marginalisation that contribute to the cycle of violence.

“Moreover, pursuing a dialogue with the bandits does not necessarily mean condoning their actions or granting them impunity. It is a strategic move to de-escalate the situation and protect the lives of innocent victims.

“By initiating talks, Gumi may be able to secure the release of the schoolchildren and potentially prevent future abductions. While dialogue with bandits may seem controversial, it can be a necessary step in resolving conflicts and ensuring the safety of hostages; Gumi’s intention to engage in dialogue should be supported as a means to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kaduna,” he added.

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