Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has revealed that several Boko Haram commanders are willing to surrender and urged the federal government to use proper engagement to negotiate with the group.
Gumi, who spoke to ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, in Kaduna yesterday after hosting the released students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna also reiterated his call on the government to negotiate with bandits.
The cleric noted that information at his disposal revealed that many Boko Haram commanders were willing to surrender and be integrated into society.
He further disclosed that the bandits were also putting pressure on him to assist them with amnesty.
“But with Boko Haram – although we have reliable information from some contacts too that many of their commanders want to surrender; So, I think that with serious engagement and government involvement in these issues on a serious note, I think we will overcome. You see, in Nigeria, we are a tribal society. So, every group has elders that they listen to,” Gumi explained.
Gumi also disclosed that he had reached out to 80 per cent of the bandits’ leaders and they were willing to surrender, adding that the remaining 20 per cent were the ones still causing havoc.
He also argued that the government should engage the bandits and provide them with schools and amnesty so that they could live a normal life.
According to him, the bandits are not more than 100,000, adding that government should be able to provide for their needs.
The cleric revealed that the bandits that kidnapped the Kaduna Greenfield University students have also suspended their initial plan to kill the students and expressed the hope that they will also regain their freedom.