By Kingsley Omonobi— ABUJA
Armed bandits terrorising some local government areas and communities in Niger State have promised to release all the kidnapped victims in their captivity.
This followed a ‘mediation parley’ between a popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, and the criminals.
Notorious kidnapping warlords such as Dogon Gida, Kachalla and others, it was gathered, attended the reconciliation forum with Gumi.
They expressed willingness to be part of any de-radicalisation exercise or programme that the government will unveil for their repentant ‘boys’.
“The meeting took place at an isolated area inside a forest in the state, yesterday,” a security source reliably disclosed.
The bandits, he said, told Gumi that they were tired of the atrocities and killing of innocent persons.
“They are not happy that several of their cows have been bombarded, and some stolen by robbers. They alleged that their fellow herdsmen have been killed by some villagers,” he added.
According to the source, who declined to give his name, the bandits took Gumi around some wells where bodies of their Fulani relatives and family members, killed in aerial bombardments, were dumped.
“They also let Sheikh Gumi know that vigilante members in some communities always attack their Fulani relatives and family members, whenever they sight them going to markets and towns,” he said.